The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations
by Publius Ovidius Naso
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[Footnote 45: Changes its sex.—Ver. 408. Pliny mentions it as a vulgar belief that the hyaena is male and female in alternate years. Aristotle took the pains to confute this silly notion.]

[Footnote 46: Which feeds upon.—Ver. 411. The idea that the chameleon subsists on wind and air, arose from the circumstance of its sitting with its mouth continually open, that it may catch flies and small insects, its prey. That it changes colour according to the hue of the surrounding objects, is a fact well known. It receives its name from the Greek chamai leon, 'The lion on the ground.']

[Footnote 47: Changed into stone.—Ver. 415. Pliny says, that this becomes hard, and turns into gems, like the carbuncle, being of a fiery tint, and that the stone has the name of 'lyncurium.' Beckmann (Hist. Inventions) thinks that this was probably the jacinth, or hyacinth, while others suppose it to have been the tourmaline, or transparent amber.]

[Footnote 48: A soft plant.—Ver. 417. Modern improvement in knowledge has shown that coral is not a plant, but an animal substance.]

[Footnote 49: Sparta was famed.—Ver. 426-30. These lines are looked upon by many Commentators as spurious, as they are omitted in most MSS. Besides, all these cities were flourishing in the time of Pythagoras. If they are genuine, Ovid is here guilty of a series of anachronisms.]

[Footnote 50: But one born.—Ver. 447. This was Octavius, the adopted son of Julius Caesar. According to Suetonius, he traced his descent, through his mother, from Ascanius or Iuelus.]

[Footnote 51: Ought not to fill.—Ver. 462. Clarke's quaint translation is, 'And let us not cram our g—ts with Thyestian victuals.']

[Footnote 52: Feather foils.—Ver. 475. He alludes to the 'formido;' which was made of coloured feathers, and was used to scare the deer into the toils.]


The Poet having now exhausted nearly all the transformations which ancient history afforded him, proceeds to enlist in the number some of the real phenomena of nature, together with some imaginary ones. As Pythagoras was considered to have pursued metaphysical studies more deeply, perhaps, than any other of the ancient philosophers, Ovid could not have introduced a personage more fitted to discuss these subjects. Having travelled through Asia, it is supposed that Pythagoras passed into Italy, and settled at Crotona, to promulgate there the philosophical principles which he had acquired in his travels through Egypt and Asia Minor.

The Pythagorean philosophy was well-suited for the purpose of mingling its doctrines with the fabulous narratives of the Poet, as it consisted, in great part, of the doctrine of an endless series of transformations. Its main features may be reduced to two general heads; the first of which was the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, or continual transmigration of souls from one body into another. Pythagoras is supposed not to have originated this doctrine, but to have received it from the Egyptians, by whose priesthood there is little doubt that it was generally promulgated. Some writers have suggested that this transmigration was only taught by Pythagoras in a metaphorical sense; as, for instance, when he said that the souls of men were transferred to beasts, it was only to teach us that irregular passions render us brutes; on examination, however, we shall find that there is no ground to doubt that he intended his doctrines to be understood according to the literal meaning of his words; indeed, the more strongly to enforce his doctrine by a personal illustration, he was in the habit of promulgating that he remembered to have been Euphorbus, at the time of the siege of Troy, and that his soul, after several other transmigrations, had at last entered the body which it then inhabited, under the name of Pythagoras. In consequence of this doctrine, it was a favourite tenet of his followers to abstain from eating the flesh of animals, for fear of unconsciously devouring some friend or kinsman.

The second feature of this philosophy consisted in the elucidation of the changes that happen in the physical world, a long series of which is here set forth by the Poet; truth being mingled at random with fiction. While some of his facts are based upon truth, others seem to have only emanated from the fertile invention of the travellers of those days; of the latter kind are the stories of the river of Thrace, whose waters petrified those who drank of it; the fountains that kindled wood, that caused a change of sex, that created an aversion to wine, that transformed men into birds, and fables of a similar nature; such, too, are those stories which were generally believed by even the educated men of antiquity, but which the wisdom of modern times has long since shown to be utterly baseless, as, for instance, that bees grew from the entrails of the ox, and hornets from those of the horse. The principle of Pythagoras, that everything is continually changing and that nothing perishes, is true to a certain extent; but in his times, and even in those of Ovid, philosophy was not sufficiently advanced to speak with precision on the subject, and to discover the true boundary between truth and fiction.

FABLES IV. V. AND VI. [XV.479-621]

Egeria, the wife of Numa, is inconsolable after his death, and is changed into a fountain. The horses of Hippolytus being frightened by a sea-monster, he is killed by being thrown from his chariot, and becomes a God, under the name of Virbius. Tages, the Diviner, arises out of a clod of earth. The lance of Romulus is changed into a cornel-tree. Cippus becomes horned, and goes into voluntary banishment, rather than his country should be deprived of its liberty by his means.

With his mind cultivated with precepts such as these and others, they say that Numa returned to his country, and, being voluntarily invited,[53] received the sovereignty of the Roman people. Blest with a Nymph for his wife, and the Muses for his guides, he taught the rites of sacrifice, and brought over to the arts of peace a race inured to savage warfare. After, full of years, he had finished his reign and his life, the Latian matrons and the people and the Senators lamented Numa at his death. But his wife, leaving the city, lay hid, concealed in the thick groves of the valley of Aricia, and by her groans and lamentations disturbed the sacred rites of Diana, brought thither by Orestes. Ah! how oft did the Nymphs of the grove and of the lake entreat her not to do so, and utter soothing words. Ah! how often did the hero, the son of Theseus, say to her as she wept, "Put an end to it; for thy lot is not the only one to be lamented. Consider the like calamities of others, thou wilt {then} bear thine own better. And would that an example, not my own, could lighten thy grief! yet even my own can do so."

"I suppose, in discourse it has reached thy ears that a certain Hippolytus met with his death through the credulity of his father, by the deceit of his wicked step-mother. Thou wilt wonder, and I shall hardly be able to prove it; but yet I am he. In former times, the daughter of Pasiphae, having tempted me in vain, pretended that I wished to defile the couch of my father, a thing that she herself wished to do; and having turned the accusation {against me}, (whether it was more through dread of discovery, or through mortification at her repulse) she charged me. And my father expelled me, {thus} innocent, from the city, and as I went he uttered imprecations against my head, with ruthless prayers. I was going to Troezen, {the city} of Pittheus,[54] in my flying chariot, and I was now proceeding along the shores of the Corinthian gulf, when the sea was aroused, and an enormous mass of waters seemed to bend and to grow in the form of a mountain, and to send forth a roaring noise, and to burst asunder at its very summit. Thence, the waves being divided, a horned bull was sent forth, and erect in the light air as far as his breast, he vomited forth a quantity of sea-water from his nostrils and his open mouth. The hearts of my attendants quailed; my mind remained without fear, intent {only} on my exile, when the fierce horses turned their necks towards the sea, and were terrified, with ears erect; and they were alarmed with dread of the monster, and precipitated the chariot over the lofty rocks. I struggled, with unavailing hand, to guide the bridle covered with white foam, and, throwing myself backwards, I pulled back the loosened reins. And, indeed, the madness of my steeds would not have exceeded that strength {of mine}, had not the wheel, by running against a stump, been broken and disjoined just where it turns round on the long axle-tree.

"I was hurled from my chariot; and, the reins entwined around my limbs, you might have seen my palpitating entrails dragged, my sinews fasten upon the stump, my limbs partly torn to pieces and partly left behind, being caught by {various obstacles}, my bones in their breaking emit a loud noise, and my exhausted breath become exhaled, and not a part in my body which you could recognize; and the whole of {me} formed {but} one {continued} wound. And canst thou, Nymph, or dost thou venture to compare thy misfortune to mine? I have visited, too, the realms deprived of light, and I have bathed my lacerated body in the waves of Phlegethon.[55] Nor could life have been restored me, but through the powerful remedies of the son of Apollo. After I had received it, through potent herbs and the Paeonian aid,[56] much against the will of Pluto, then Cynthia threw around me thick clouds, that I might not, by my presence, increase his anger at this favour; and that I might be safe, and be seen in security, she gave me a {more} aged appearance, and left me no features that could be recognized. For a long time she was doubtful whether she should give me Crete or Delos for me to possess. Delos and Crete being abandoned, she placed me here, and, at the same time, she ordered me to lay aside my name, which might have reminded me of my steeds, and she said, 'Thou, the same who wast Hippolytus, be thou now Virbius.'[57] From that time I have inhabited this grove; and, as one of the lower Gods, I lie concealed under the protection of my mistress, and to her am I devoted."[58]

But yet the misfortunes of others were not able to alleviate the grief of Egeria; and, throwing herself down at the base of the hill, she dissolved into tears; until, moved by her affection as she grieved, the sister of Phoebus formed a cool fountain from her body, and dissolved her limbs in ever-flowing waters.

But this new circumstance surprised the Nymphs; and the son of the Amazon[59] was astonished, in no other manner than as when the Etrurian ploughman beheld the fate-revealing clod in the midst of the fields move at first of its own accord and no one touching it, and afterwards assume a human form, and lose {that} of earth, and open its new-made mouth with {the decrees of} future destiny. The natives called him Tages. He was the first to teach the Etrurian nation to foretell future events.

Or, as when Romulus once saw his lance, fixed in the Palatine hill, suddenly shoot forth; which {now} stood there with a root newly-formed, {and} not with the iron {point} driven in; and, now no longer as a dart, but as a tree with limber twigs, it sent forth, for the admiring {spectators}, a shade that was not looked for.

Or, {as} when Cippus beheld his horns in the water of the stream, (for he did see them) and, believing that there was a false representation in the reflection, often returning his fingers to his forehead, he touched what he saw. And now, no {longer} condemning his own eyesight, he stood still, as he was returning victorious from the conquest of the enemy; and raising his eyes towards heaven, and his hands in the same direction, he exclaimed, "Ye Gods above! whatever is portended by this prodigy, if it is auspicious, then be it auspicious to my country and to the people of Quirinus; but if unfortunate, be it {so} for myself." And {then} he made atonement at the grassy altars built of green turf, with odoriferous fires, and presented wine in bowls, and consulted the panting entrails of slaughtered sheep what the meaning of it was. Soon as the soothsayer of the Etrurian nation had inspected them, he beheld in them the great beginnings of {future} events, but still not clearly. But when he raised his searching eyes from the entrails of the sheep, to the horns of Cippus, he said, "Hail, O king! for thee, Cippus, thee and thy horns shall this place and the Latian towers obey. Only do thou lay aside all delay; hasten to enter the gates wide open; thus the fates command thee. For, {once} received within the City, thou shalt be king, and thou shalt safely enjoy a lasting sceptre." He retreated backwards, and turning his stern visage away from the walls of the City, he exclaimed, "Far, O far away may the Gods drive such omens! Much more righteously shall I pass my life in exile, than if the Capitol were to see me a king."

{Thus} he says; and forthwith he convokes the people and the dignified Senate; but first, he veils his horns with laurel that betokens peace, and he stands upon a mound raised by his brave soldiers; and praying to the Gods after the ancient manner, "Behold!" says he, "one is here who will be king, if you do not expel him from the City. I will tell you who he is by a sign, {and} not by name. He wears horns on his forehead; the augur predicts to you, that if he enters the City, he shall give you laws as his slaves. He, indeed, was able to enter the open gates, but I have opposed him; although no one is more nearly allied with him than myself. Forbid your City to this man, ye Romans, or, if he shall deserve it, bind him with heavy fetters; or else end your fears by the death of the destined tyrant."

As the murmur which arises among the groves of the slender pine,[60] when the furious East wind whistles among them, or as that which the waves of the ocean produce, if any one hears them from afar, such is the noise of the crowd. But yet amid the confused words of the shouting multitude, one cry is distinguished, "Which is he?" And then they examine the foreheads, and seek the predicted horns. Cippus again addresses them: "Him whom you require, ye {now} have;" and, despite of the people, throwing the chaplet from his head, he exhibits his temples, remarkable for two horns. All cast down their eyes, and utter groans, and (who would have supposed it?) they unwillingly look upon that head famed for its merits. And no longer suffering it to be deprived of its honours, they place upon it the festive chaplet. But the nobles, Cippus, since thou art forbidden to enter the city, give thee as much land, as a mark of honour, as thou canst, with the oxen yoked to the pressed plough, make the circuit of from the rising of the sun to its setting. They carve, too, the horns, imitating their wondrous form, on the door-posts adorned with brass, {there} to remain for long ages.

[Footnote 53: Voluntarily invited.—Ver. 481. He was living at the Sabine town of Cures, when the throne was pressed upon him by the desire of both the Roman and the Sabine nations.]

[Footnote 54: City of Pittheus.—Ver. 506. Pittheus was the son of Pelops, and the father of AEthra, the mother of Theseus; consequently he was the great-grandfather of Hippolytus.]

[Footnote 55: Phlegethon.—Ver. 532. This was said to be one of the rivers of the Infernal Regions, and to be flowing with fire and brimstone.]

[Footnote 56: Paeonian aid.—Ver. 536. Paeon was a skilful physician, mentioned by Homer, in the Fifth Book of the Iliad. Eustathius thinks that Apollo is meant under that name.]

[Footnote 57: Virbius.—Ver. 544. This name is formed from the words 'vir' and 'bis,' twice a man.]

[Footnote 58: Am I devoted.—Ver. 546. In the same relation to her as Adonis was to Venus, Ericthonius to Minerva, and Atys to Cybele.]

[Footnote 59: Son of the Amazon.—Ver. 552. Hippolytus was the son either of the Amazon Hippolyta, or Antiope.]

[Footnote 60: Slender pine.—Ver. 603-4. The words 'succinctis pinetis' are rendered by Clarke, 'the neat pine-groves.']


Ovid, following the notion that was generally entertained of the wisdom of Numa, pretends that before he was elected to the sovereignty he went to Crotona, for the purpose of studying under Pythagoras; but he is guilty of a considerable anachronism in this instance, as Pythagoras was not born till very many years after the time of Numa. According to Livy, Pythagoras flourished in the time of Servius Tullius, the sixth Roman king, about one hundred and fifty years after Numa. Modern authors are of opinion that upwards of two hundred years intervened between the days of Numa and Pythagoras. Besides, Dionysius of Halicarnassus distinctly asserts that the city of Crotona was only built in the fourth year of the reign of Numa Pompilius.

Numa is said to have been in the habit of retiring to the Arician grove, to consult the Nymph Egeria upon the laws which he was about to promulgate for the benefit of his subjects. It is probable, that to ensure their observance the more effectually, he wished the people to believe that his enactments were compiled under the inspection of one who partook of the immortal nature, and that in so doing he followed the example of previous lawgivers. Zamolxis pretended that the laws which he gave to the Scythians were dictated to him by his attendant genius or spirit. The first Minos affirmed that Jupiter was the author of the ordinances which he gave to the people of Crete, while Lycurgus attributed his to Apollo. It is not improbable that in this they imitated the example of Moses, a tradition of whose reception of the laws on Mount Sinai they may have received from the people of Phoenicia.

Dionysius of Halicarnassus has an interesting passage relative to Numa, which throws some light upon his alleged intercourse with the Nymph Egeria. His words are— 'The Romans affirm that Numa was never engaged in any warlike expedition; but that he passed his whole reign in profound peace: that his first care was to encourage piety and justice in his dominions, and to civilize his people by good and wholesome laws. His profound skill in governing made him pass for being inspired, and gave rise to many fabulous stories. Some have said that he had secret interviews with the Nymph Egeria; others, that he frequently consulted one of the Muses, and was instructed by her in the art of government. Numa was desirous to confirm the people in this opinion; but because some hesitated to believe his bare affirmation, and others went so far as to call his alleged converse with the Deities a fiction, he took an opportunity to give them such proofs of it, that the most sceptical among them should have no room left for suspicion. This he effected in the following manner. He one day invited several of the nobles to his palace, and showed them the plainness of the apartments, where no rich furniture was to be seen, nor any thing like an attempt at splendour; and how even the most ordinary necessaries were wanting for anything like a great entertainment; after which, he dismissed them with an invitation to come to sup with him on the same night. At the appointed hour his guests arrived; they were received on stately couches; the tables were decked with a variety of plate, and were loaded with the most exquisite dainties. The guests were struck with the sumptuousness and profusion of the entertainment, and considering how impossible it was for any man to have made such preparations in so short a time, were persuaded that his communication with heaven was not a fiction, and that he must have had the aid of the celestial powers to do things of a nature so extraordinary. 'But,' as the same author says, 'those who were not so ready at adopting fabulous narratives as a part of history, say that it was the policy of Numa which led him to feign a conversation with the Nymph Egeria, to make his laws respected by his people, and that he thence followed the example of the Greek sages, who adopted the same method of enforcing the authority of their laws with the people.'

The Romans were so persuaded of the fact of Numa's conferences with the Nymph Egeria, that they went into the grove of Aricia to seek her; but finding nothing but a fountain in the spot which he used to frequent, they promulgated the story of the transformation of the Nymph. St. Augustin, speaking on this subject, says that Numa made use of the waters of that fountain in the divination which was performed by the aid of water, and was called Hydromancy.

Theseus having left Ariadne in the isle of Naxos, flattered himself with the hopes of marrying her sister Phaedra. Deucalion, succeeding Minos in Crete immediately after his death, sent Phaedra to Athens. On arriving there, she fell in love with Hippolytus, the son of Theseus, who had been brought up at Troezen by Pittheus. As she did not dare to request of Theseus that his son might be brought from the court of Pittheus, she built a temple to Venus near Troezen, that she might the more frequently have the opportunity of seeing Hippolytus, and called it by the name of Hippolyteum. According to Euripides, this youth was wise, chaste, and an enemy to all voluptuousness. He spent his time in hunting and chariot racing, with other exercises which formed the pursuits of youths of high station. According to Plutarch, it was at the time when Theseus was a prisoner in Epirus, that Phaedra took the opportunity of disclosing to Hippolytus the violence of her passion for him. Her declaration being but ill received, she grew desperate on his refusal to comply with her desires, and was about to commit self-destruction, when her nurse suggested the necessity of revenging the virtuous disdain of the youth.

Theseus having been liberated by Hercules, Phaedra, being fearful lest the intrigue should come to his knowledge, hanged herself, having first written a letter to inform him that she could not survive an attempt which Hippolytus had made on her virtue. Plutarch, Servius and Hyginus, following Euripides, give this account of her death. But Seneca, in his Hippolytus, says that she only appeared before her husband in extreme grief, holding a sword in her hand to signify the violence which Hippolytus had offered her. On this, Theseus implored the assistance of Neptune, who sent a monster out of the sea, to frighten his horses, as he was driving along the sea-shore: on which, they took fright, and throwing him from his chariot, he was killed. It has been suggested that the true meaning of this is, that Theseus having ordered his son to come and justify himself, he made so much haste that his horses ran away with him; and his chariot being dashed over the rocks, he was killed.

Seneca also differs from the other writers, in saying that Phaedra did not put herself to death till she had heard of the catastrophe of Hippolytus, on which she stabbed herself. The people of Troezen, regretting his loss, decreed him divine honours, built a temple, and appointed a priest to offer yearly sacrifices to him. Euripides says, that the young women of Troezen, when about to be married, cut off their hair and carried it to the temple of Hippolytus. It was also promulgated that the Gods had translated him to the heavens, where he was changed into the Constellation, called by the Latins 'Auriga,' or 'the Charioteer.' Later authors, whom Ovid here follows, added, that AEsculapius restored him to life, and that he afterwards appeared in Italy under the name of Virbius. This story was probably invented as a source of profit by the priesthood, who were desirous to find some good reason for introducing his worship into the Arician grove near Rome. This story is mentioned by Apollodorus, who quotes the author of the Naupactan verses in favour of it, and by the Scholiasts of Euripides and Pindar.

The ancient Etrurians were great adepts in the art of divination; their favourite method of exercising which was by the inspection of the entrails of beasts, and the observation of the flight of birds; and from them, as we learn from Cicero in his book on Divination, the system spread over the whole of Italy. Tages is supposed to have been the first who taught this art, and he wrote treatises upon it, which, according to Plutarch, were quoted by ancient authors. It not being known whence he came, or who were his parents, he was called, in the language of the poets, a son of the earth. Ammianus Marcellinus speaks of him as being said to have sprung out of the earth in Etruria.

Ovid next makes a passing allusion to the spear of Romulus, which, when thrown by him from the Mount Aventine towards the Capitol, sticking in the ground was converted into a tree, which immediately put forth leaves. This prodigy was taken for a presage of the future greatness of Rome: and Plutarch, in his life of Romulus, says that so long as this tree stood, the Republic flourished. It began to wither in the time of the first civil war; and Julius Caesar having afterwards ordered a building to be erected near where it stood, the workmen cutting some of its roots in sinking the foundations, it soon after died. It is hardly probable that a cornel tree would stand in a thronged city for nearly seven hundred years; and it is, therefore, most likely, that care was taken to renovate it from time to time, by planting slips from the former tree.

The story of Genucius Cippus is one of those strange fables with which the Roman history is diversified. Valerius Maximus gives the following account of it. He says that Cippus, going one day out of Rome, suddenly found that something which resembled horns was growing out of his forehead. Surprised at an event so extraordinary, he consulted the augurs, who said that he would be chosen king, if he ever entered the city again. As the royal power was abhorred in Rome, he preferred a voluntary banishment to revisiting Rome on those terms. Struck with this heroism, the Romans erected a brazen statue with horns over the gate by which he departed, and it was afterwards called 'Porta raudusculana,' because the ancient Latin name of brass was 'raudus,' 'rodus,' or 'rudus.' The fact is, however, as Ovid represents it, that Cippus was not going out of Rome, but returning to it, when the prodigy happened; he having been to convey assistance to the Consul Valerius. The Senate also conferred certain lands on Cippus, as a reward for his patriotism. He lived about two hundred and forty years before the Christian era. Pliny the Elder considers the story of the horns of Cippus as much a fable as that of Actaeon. It appears, however, that the account of the horns may have possibly been founded on fact, as excrescences resembling them have appeared on the bodies of individuals. Bayle makes mention of a girl of Palermo, who had little horns all over her body, like those of a young calf. In the Ashmolean museum at Oxford, a substance much resembling the horn of a goat is shown, which is said to have sprung from the forehead of a female named Mary Davis, whose likeness is there shown. The excrescence was most probably produced by a deranged secretion of the hair, and something of a similar nature may perhaps have befallen Genucius Cippus, which, of course, would be made the most of in those ages of superstition. Valerius Maximus, with all his credulity, does not say that they were real horns that made their appearance, but that they were 'just like horns.'

It is not improbable that the story originally was, that Cippus, on his return to Rome, dreamt that he had horns on his head, and that having consulted the augurs, and received the answer mentioned by Ovid, he preferred to suffer exile, rather than enslave his country; and that, in length of time, the more wonderful part of the story was added to it.

FABLE VII. [XV.622-744]

Rome being wasted by a pestilence, the Delphian oracle is consulted; and the answer is given, that to cause it to cease AEsculapius must be brought to Rome. On this, ambassadors are sent to Epidaurus to demand the God. The people refuse to part with him; but he appears to one of the Romans in a dream, and consents to go. On his arrival at Rome the contagion ceases, and a Temple is built in his honour.

Relate, now, ye Muses, the guardian Deities of poets (for you know, and remote antiquity conceals it not from you), whence {it is that} the Island surrounded by the channel of the Tiber introduced the son of Coronis into the sacred rites of the City of Romulus. A dire contagion had once infected the Latian air, and the pale bodies were deformed by a consumption that dried up the blood. When, wearied with {so many} deaths, they found that mortal endeavours availed nothing, and that the skill of physicians had no effect, they sought the aid of heaven, and they repaired to Delphi which occupies the centre spot of the world, the oracle of Phoebus, and entreated that he would aid their distressed circumstances by a response productive of health, and put an end to the woes of a City so great. Both the spot, and the laurels, and the quivers which it has, shook at the same moment, and the tripod[61] gave this answer from the recesses of the shrine, and struck {with awe} their astonished breasts:— "What here thou dost seek, O Roman, thou mightst have sought in a nearer spot: and now seek it in a nearer spot; thou hast no need of Apollo to diminish thy grief, but of the son of Apollo. Go with a good omen, and invite my son."

After the prudent Senate had received the commands of the Deity, they enquired what city the youthful son of Phoebus inhabited; and they sent some to reach the coasts of Epidaurus[62] with the winds. Soon as those sent had reached them in the curving ship, they repaired to the council and the Grecian elders, and besought them to grant them the Divinity, who by his presence could put an end to the mortality of the Ausonian nation; {for} that so the unerring response had directed. Their opinions were divided, and differed; and some thought that aid ought not to be refused. Many refused it, and advised them not to part with their own protector, and to give up their own guardian Deity. While they were deliberating, twilight had {now} expelled the waning day, and the shadow of the earth had brought darkness over the world; when, in thy sleep, the saving God seemed, O Roman, to be standing before thy couch; but just as he is wont to be in his temple; and, holding a rustic staff in his left hand, {he seemed} to be stroking the long hair of his beard with his right, and to utter such words as these from his kindly breast— "Lay aside thy fears; I will come, and I will leave these {my} statues. Only observe {now} this serpent, which with its folds entwines around this staff, and accurately mark it with thine eyes, that thou mayst be able to know it again. Into this shall I be changed; but I shall be greater, and I shall appear to be of a size as great as that into which heavenly bodies ought to be transformed."

Forthwith, with {these} words, the God departs; and with his words and the God sleep {departs}, and genial light follows upon the departure of sleep. The following morn has {now} dispersed the starry fires; uncertain what to do, the nobles meet together in the sumptuous temple of the God {then} sought, and beseech him to indicate, by celestial tokens, in what spot he would wish to abide. Hardly have they well ceased, when the God, all glittering with gold, in {the form of} a serpent, with crest erect, sends forth a hissing, as a notice of his approach; and in his coming, he shakes both his statue, the altars, the doors, the marble pavement, and the gilded roof, and as far as the breast he stands erect in the midst of the temple, and rolls around his eyes that sparkle with fire. The frightened multitude is alarmed; the priest, having his chaste hair bound with a white fillet, recognizes the Deity and exclaims, "The God! Behold the God! Whoever you are that are present, be of good omen, both with your words and your feelings. Mayst thou, most beauteous one, be beheld to our advantage; and mayst thou aid the nations that perform thy sacred rites." Whoever are present, adore the Deity as bidden; and all repeat the words of the priest over again; and the descendants of AEneas give a pious omen, both with their feelings, and in their words. To these the God shows favour; and with crest erected, he gives a hiss, a sure token, repeated thrice with his vibrating tongue. Then he glides down the polished steps,[63] and turns back his head, and, about to depart, he looks back upon his ancient altars, and salutes his wonted abode and the temple that {so long} he has inhabited. Then, with his vast bulk, he glides along the ground covered with the strewn flowers, and coils his folds, and through the midst of the city repairs to the harbour protected by its winding quay.

Here he stops; and seeming to dismiss his train, and the dutiful attendance of the accompanying crowd, with a placid countenance, he places his body in the Ausonian ship. It is sensible of the weight of the God; and the ship {now} laden with the Divinity for its freight, the descendants of AEneas rejoice; and a bull having first been slain on the sea-shore, they loosen the twisted cables of the bark bedecked with garlands. A gentle breeze has {now} impelled the ship. The God is conspicuous aloft,[64] and pressing upon the crooked stern with his neck laid upon it, he looks down upon the azure waters; and with the gentle Zephyrs along the Ionian sea, on the sixth rising of the daughter of Pallas, he makes Italy, and is borne along the Lacinian shores, ennobled by the temple of the Goddess {Juno}, and the Scylacean[65] coasts. He leaves Iapygia behind, and flies from the Amphissian[66] rocks with the oars on the left side; on the right side he passes by the steep Ceraunia, and Romechium, and Caulon,[67] and Narycia, and he crosses the sea and the straits of the Sicilian Pelorus, and the abodes of the king the grandson of Hippotas, and the mines of Temesa; and then he makes for Leucosia,[68] and the rose-beds of the warm Paestum. Then he coasts by Capreae,[69] and the promontory of Minerva, and the hills ennobled with the Surrentine[70] vines, and the city of Hercules,[71] and Stabiae,[72] and Parthenope made for retirement, and after it the temple of the Cumaean Sibyl. Next, the warm springs[73] are passed by, and Linternum,[74] that bears mastick trees; and {then} Vulturnus,[75] that carries much sand along with its tide, and Sinuessa, that abounds with snow-white snakes,[76] and the pestilential Minturnae,[77] and she for whom[78] her foster-child erected the tomb, and the abode of Antiphates,[79] and Trachas,[80] surrounded by the marsh, and the land of Circe, and Antium,[81] with its rocky coast.

After the sailors have steered the sail-bearing ship hither (for now the sea is aroused), the Deity unfolds his coils, and gliding with many a fold and in vast coils, he enters the temple of his parent, that skirts the yellow shore. The sea {now} becalmed, the {God} of Epidaurus leaves the altars of his sire; and having enjoyed the hospitality of the Deity, {thus} related to him, he furrows the sands of the sea-shore with the dragging of his rattling scales, and reclining against the helm of the ship, he places his head upon the lofty stern; until he comes to Castrum,[82] and the sacred abodes of Lavinium, and the mouths of the Tiber. Hither, all the people indiscriminately, a crowd both of matrons and of men, rush to meet him; they, too, Vesta! who tend thy fires; and with joyous shouts they welcome the God. And where the swift ship is steered through the tide running out, altars being erected in a line, the frankincense crackles along {the banks} on either side, and perfumes the air with its smoke; the felled victim too, {with its blood} makes warm the knives thrust {into it}.

And now he has entered Rome, the sovereign of the world. The serpent rises erect, and lifts his neck that reclines against the top of the mast, and looks around for a habitation suited for himself. {There is a spot, where} the river flowing around, is divided into two parts; it is called "the Island." {The river} in the direction of each side extends its arms of equal length, the dry land {lying} in the middle. Hither, the serpent, son of Phoebus, betakes himself from the Latian ship; and he puts an end to the mourning, having resumed his celestial form. And {thus} did he come, the restorer of health, to the City.

[Footnote 61: The tripod.—Ver. 635. The tripod on which the priestess of Apollo or 'Pythia,' sat when inspired, was called 'Cortina,' from the skin, 'corium,' of the serpent Python, which, when it had been killed by Apollo was used to cover it.]

[Footnote 62: Epidaurus.—Ver. 643. There were several towns of this name. The one here mentioned was in the state of Argolis.]

[Footnote 63: Polished steps.—Ver. 685. Clarke translates 'Gradibus nitidis,' 'the neat steps.']

[Footnote 64: Is conspicuous aloft.—Ver. 697. 'Deus eminet alte.' This is rendered by Clarke, 'The God rears up to a good height.']

[Footnote 65: Scylacean.—Ver. 702. Scylace was a town on the Calabrian coast; it was said to have been founded by an Athenian colony.]

[Footnote 66: Amphissian.—Ver. 703. Amphissia was the name of a city of Locris; but that cannot be the place here alluded to on the coast of Italy. It is most probably a corrupt reading.]

[Footnote 67: Caulon.—Ver. 705. Caulon was a colony of the Achaea on the coast of Calabria. Narycia, or Naritium, or Naricia, was also a town on the Calabrian coast. The localities of Ceraunia and Romechium are not known.]

[Footnote 68: Leucosia.—Ver. 708. Leucosia was a little island off the town of Paestum, which was in Lucania; it was famous for its mild climate, and the beauty of its roses, which are celebrated by Virgil.]

[Footnote 69: Capreae.—Ver. 709. Capreae was an island near the coast of Naples.]

[Footnote 70: Surrentine.—Ver. 710. Surrentum was a city of Campania, famed for its wines.]

[Footnote 71: City of Hercules.—Ver. 711. This was Herculaneum, at the foot of Vesuvius; the place which shared so disastrous a fate from the eruption of that mountain.]

[Footnote 72: Stabiae.—Ver. 711. This was a town of Campania, which was destroyed by Sylla in the Social war. It was afterwards rebuilt.]

[Footnote 73: The warm springs.—Ver. 711. He alludes to the city of Baiae, famed for its warm springs and baths.]

[Footnote 74: Linternum.—Ver. 714. This place was in Campania. It was famous as the place of retirement of the elder Scipio; he was buried there.]

[Footnote 75: Vulturnus.—Ver. 715. This was a river of Campania, which flowed past the city of Capua.]

[Footnote 76: Snow-white snakes.—Ver. 715. Sinuessa was a town of Campania; Heinsius very properly suggests 'columbis,' 'doves;' for 'colubris,' 'snakes.' We are told by Pliny the Elder, that Campania was famed for its doves.]

[Footnote 77: Minturnae.—Ver. 716. This was a town of Latium; the marshes in its neighbourhood produced pestilential exhalations.]

[Footnote 78: She for whom.—Ver. 716. This was Caieta, who, being buried there by her foster-child AEneas, gave her name to the spot.]

[Footnote 79: Abode of Antiphates.—Ver. 717. Formiae.]

[Footnote 80: Trachas.—Ver. 717. This place was also called 'Anxur.' Its present name is Terracina. Livy mentions it as lying in the marshes.]

[Footnote 81: Antium.—Ver. 718. This was the capital of the ancient Volscians.]

[Footnote 82: Castrum.—Ver. 727. This was 'Castrum Inui,' or 'the tents of Pan;' an old town of the Rutulians.]


The story here narrated by Ovid is derived from the Roman history, to which we will shortly refer for an explanation.

Under the consulate of Quintus Fabius Gurges, and Decimus Junius Brutus Scaeva, Rome was ravaged by a frightful pestilence. The resources of physic having been exhausted, the Sibylline books were consulted to ascertain by what expedient the calamity might be put an end to, and they found that the plague would not cease till they had brought AEsculapius from Epidaurus to Rome. Being then engaged in war, they postponed their application to the Epidaurians for a year, at the end of which time they despatched an embassy to Epidaurus; on which a serpent was delivered to them, which the priests of the Deity assured them was the God himself. Taking it on board their ship, the delegates set sail. When near Antium, they were obliged to put in there by stress of weather, and the serpent, escaping from the ship, remained three days on shore; after which it came on board of its own accord, and they continued their voyage. On arriving at the Island of the Tiber the serpent escaped, and concealed itself amid the reeds; and as they, in their credulity, fancied that the God had chosen the place for his habitation, they built a temple there in his honour. From this period, which was about the year of Rome 462, the worship of AEsculapius was introduced in the city, and to him recourse was had in cases of disease, and especially in times of pestilence.

FABLE VIII. [XV.745-879]

Julius Caesar is assassinated in the Senate-house, and by the intercession of Venus, his ancestor, he is changed into a star. The Poet concludes his work with a compliment to Augustus, and a promise of immortality to himself.

And still, he came a stranger to our temples; Caesar is a Deity in his own city; whom, {alike} distinguished both in war and peace, wars ending with triumphs, his government at home, and the rapid glory of his exploits, did not more {tend to} change into a new planet, and a star with brilliant train, than did his own progeny. For of {all} the acts of Caesar, there is not one more ennobling than that he was the father of this {our Caesar}. Was it, forsooth, a greater thing to have conquered the Britons surrounded by the ocean, and to have steered his victorious ships along the seven-mouthed streams of the Nile that bears the papyrus, and to have added to the people of Quirinus the rebellious Numidians[83] and the Cinyphian Juba, and Pontus[84] proud of the fame of Mithridates, and to have deserved many a triumph, {and} to have enjoyed some, than it was to have been the father of a personage so great, under whose tutelage over the world, you, ye Gods above, have shewn excessive care for the human race? That he {then} might not be sprung from mortal seed, {'twas fit that Julius} should be made a Divinity. When the resplendent mother of AEneas was sensible of this; and {when} she saw that a sad death was in preparation for the Pontiff, and that the arms of the conspirators were brandished; she turned pale, and said to each of the Deities, as she met them:—

"Behold, on how vast a scale treason is plotted against me, and with how great perfidy that life is sought, which alone remains for me from the Dardanian Iuelus. Shall I alone be everlastingly harassed by justified anxieties? I, whom one while the Calydonian lance of the son of Tydeus is wounding, {and} at another time the walls of Troy, defended in vain, are grieving? I, who have seen my son driven about in protracted wanderings, tossed on the ocean, entering the abodes of the departed, and waging war with Turnus; or, if we confess the truth, with Juno rather? {But}, why am I now calling to mind the ancient misfortunes of my own offspring? Present apprehensions do not allow me to remember things of former days. Against me, you behold how the impious swords are {now} being whetted. Avert them, I entreat; hinder this crime, and do not, by the murder of the priest, extinguish the flames of Vesta."

Such expressions as these did Venus, full of anxiety, vainly let fall throughout the heavens, and she moved the Gods above. Although they were not able to frustrate the iron decrees of the aged sisters, yet they afforded no unerring tokens of approaching woe. They say, that arms resounding amid the black clouds, and dreadful {blasts of} the trumpet, and clarions heard through the heavens, forewarned men of the crime. The sad face too of the sun gave a livid light to the alarmed earth. Often did torches seem to be burning in the midst of the stars; often did drops of blood fall in the showers. The azure-coloured Lucifer had his light tinted with a dark iron colour; the chariot of the moon was besprinkled with blood. The Stygian owl gave omens of ill in a thousand places; in a thousand places did the ivory statues shed tears; dirges, too, are said to have been heard, and threatening expressions in the sacred groves. No victim gave an omen of good; the entrails, too, showed that great tumults were imminent; and the extremity {of the liver} was found cut off among the entrails. They say, too, that in the Forum, and around the houses and the temples of the Gods, the dogs were howling by night; and that the ghosts of the departed were walking, and that the City was shaken by earthquakes. But still the warnings of the Gods could not avert treachery and the approach of Fate, and drawn swords were carried into a temple; and no other place in the {whole} City than the Senate-house pleased them for this crime and this atrocious murder.

But then did Cytherea beat her breast with both her hands, and attempt to hide the descendant of AEneas in a cloud, in which, long since, Paris was conveyed from the hostile son of Atreus,[85] and AEneas had escaped from the sword of Diomedes. In such words as these {did} her father {Jove address her}: "Dost thou, my daughter, unaided, attempt to change the insuperable {decrees} of Fate? Thou, thyself, mayst enter the abode of the three sisters, {and} there thou wilt behold the register of {future} events, {wrought} with vast labour, of brass and of solid iron; these, safe and destined for eternity, fear neither the {thundering} shock of the heavens, nor the rage of the lightnings, nor any {source of} destruction. There wilt thou find the destinies of thy descendants engraved in everlasting adamant. I myself have read them, and I have marked them in my mind; I will repeat them, that thou mayst not still be ignorant of the future. He (on whose account, Cytherea, thou art {thus} anxious), has completed his time, those years being ended which he owed to the earth. Thou, with his son, who, as the heir to his glory, will bear the burden of government devolving {on him}, wilt cause him, as a Deity, to reach the heavens, and to be worshipped in temples; and he, as a most valiant avenger of his murdered parent, will have us to aid him in his battles. The conquered walls of Mutina,[86] besieged under his auspices, shall sue for peace; Pharsalia shall be sensible of him, and Philippi,[87] again drenched with Emathian gore; and the name {of one renowned as} Great, shall be subdued in the Sicilian waves; the Egyptian dame too, the wife[88] of the Roman general, shall fall, vainly trusting in that alliance; and in vain shall she threaten, that our own Capitol shall be obedient to her Canopus.[89] Why should I recount to thee the regions of barbarism, {and} nations situate in either ocean? Whatever the habitable world contains, shall be his; the sea, too, shall be subject to him. Peace being granted to the earth, he will turn his attention to civil rights, and, as a most upright legislator, he will enact laws. After his own example, too, will he regulate manners; and, looking forward to the days of future time, and of his coming posterity, he will order the offspring born of his hallowed wife[90] to assume both his own name and his cares. Nor shall he, until as an aged man he shall have equalled {his glories with} like years,[91] arrive at the abodes of heaven and his kindred stars. Meanwhile, change this soul, snatched from the murdered body, into a beam of light, that eternally the Deified Julius may look down from his lofty abode upon our Capitol and Forum."

Hardly had he uttered these words, when the genial Venus, perceived by none, stood in the very midst of the Senate-house, and snatched the soul, just liberated {from the body}, away from the limbs of her own Caesar, and, not suffering it to dissolve in air, she bore it amid the stars of heaven. And as she bore it, she perceived it assume a {train of} light and become inflamed; and she dropped it from her bosom. Above the moon it takes its flight, and, as a star, it glitters, carrying a flaming train with a lengthened track; and, as he beholds the illustrious deeds of his son, he confesses that they are superior to his own, and rejoices that he is surpassed by him. Although {Augustus} forbids his own actions to be lauded before those of his father, still Fame, in her freedom and subject to no commands, prefers him against his will; and, in {this} one point, she disobeys him. Thus does Atreus yield to the glories of the great Agamemnon; thus does Theseus excel AEgeus, {and} thus Achilles Peleus. In fine, that I may use examples that equal themselves, thus too, is Saturn inferior to Jove. Jupiter rules the abodes of heaven and the realms of the threefold world:[92] the earth is under Augustus: each of them is a father and a ruler. Ye Gods, the companions of AEneas,[93] for whom both the sword and the flames made a way; and you, ye native Deities, and thou, Quirinus, the father of the City, and thou, Gradivus, the son of the invincible Quirinus, and thou, Vesta, held sacred among the Penates of Caesar; and, with the Vesta of Caesar, thou, Phoebus, enshrined in thy abode, and thou, Jupiter, who aloft dost possess the Tarpeian heights, and whatever other {Deities} it is lawful and righteous for a Poet to invoke; late, I pray, may be that day, and protracted beyond my life, on which the person of Augustus, leaving that world which he rules, shall approach the heavens: and {when} gone, may he propitiously listen to those who invoke him.

And now I have completed a work, which neither the anger of Jove, nor fire, nor steel, nor consuming time will be able to destroy! Let that day, which has no power but over this body {of mine}, put an end to the term of my uncertain life, when it will. Yet, in my better part, I shall be raised immortal above the lofty stars, and indelible shall be my name. And wherever the Roman power is extended throughout the vanquished earth, I shall be read by the lips of nations, and (if the presages of Poets have aught of truth) throughout all ages shall I survive in fame.

[Footnote 83: Numidians.—Ver. 754. The Numidians under Syphax, together with Juba, King of Mauritania, aided Cato, Scipio, and Petreius, who had been partizans of Pompey, against Julius Caesar, and were conquered by him.]

[Footnote 84: Pontus.—Ver. 756. Caesar conquered Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates, king of Pontus, in one battle. It was on this occasion, according to Suetonius, that his despatch was in the words, 'Veni, Vidi, Vici,' 'I came, I saw, I conquered.']

[Footnote 85: Son of Atreus.—Ver. 805. This was Menelaues, from whom Paris was saved by Venus. See the Iliad, book III.]

[Footnote 86: Mutina.—Ver. 823. This was a place in Cisalpine Gaul, where Augustus defeated Antony, and took his camp.]

[Footnote 87: Philippi.—Ver. 824. Pharsalia was in Thessaly, and Philippi was in Thrace. He uses a poet's license, in treating them as being the same battle-field, as they both formed part of the former kingdom of Macedonia. Pompey was defeated by Julius Caesar at Pharsalia, while Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Augustus and Antony at Philippi. The fleet of the younger Pompey was totally destroyed off the Sicilian coast.]

[Footnote 88: The wife.—Ver. 826. Mark Antony was so infatuated as to divorce his wife, Octavia, that he might be enabled to marry Cleopatra.]

[Footnote 89: Canopus.—Ver. 828. This was a city of Egypt, situate on the Western mouth of the river Nile.]

[Footnote 90: His hallowed wife.—Ver. 836. Augustus took Livia Drusilla, while pregnant, from her husband, Tiberius Nero, and married her. He adopted her son Tiberius, and constituted him his successor.]

[Footnote 91: With like years.—Ver. 838. Julius Caesar was slain when he was fifty-six years old. Augustus died in his seventy-sixth year.]

[Footnote 92: Threefold world.—Ver. 859. This is explained as meaning the realms of the heavens, the aether and the air; but it is difficult to guess exactly what is the Poet's meaning here.]

[Footnote 93: Companions of AEneas.—Ver. 861. He probably refers to the Penates which AEneas brought into Latium. Dionysius of Halicarnassus says that he had seen them in a temple at Rome, and that they bore the figures of two youths seated and holding spears.]


The Poet having fulfilled his promise, and having brought down his work from the beginning of the world to his own times, concludes it with the apotheosis of Julius Caesar. He here takes an opportunity of complimenting Augustus, as being more worthy of divine honours than even his predecessor, while he promises him a long and glorious reign. Augustus, however, had not to wait for death to receive divine honours, as he enjoyed the glory of seeing himself worshipped as a Deity and adored at altars erected to him, even in his lifetime. According to Appian, he was but twenty-eight years of age when he was ranked among the tutelar Divinities by all the cities of the empire.

The Romans, who deduced their origin from AEneas, were flattered at the idea of Venus interesting herself in behalf of her posterity, and securing the honours of an apotheosis for Julius Caesar. The historical circumstances which Ovid here refers to were the following:—After Julius Caesar had been murdered in the Senate house, Augustus ordered public games to be instituted in his honour. We learn from Suetonius, that during their celebration a new star, or rather a comet, made its appearance, on which it was promulgated that the soul of the deified Julius had taken its place among the stars, and that Venus had procured him that honour. It was then remembered, that the light of the Sun had been unusually pallid the whole year following the death of Caesar; this which is generally supposed to have been caused by some spots which then appeared on the disk of the sun, was ascribed to the grief of Apollo. Various persons were found to assert various prodigies. Some said that it had rained blood, others that the moon and stars had been obscured; while others, still more imaginative, asserted that beasts had uttered words, and that the dead had risen from their graves.

The sorrow of the Gods and of nature at the untimely death of Julius being thus manifested, Augustus proceeded to found a temple in his honour, established priests for his service, and erected a statue of him with a star on its forehead. He was afterwards represented in the attitude of ascending to the heavens, and wielding a sceptre in his hand. While flatterers complimented Augustus upon the care which he had taken to enrol his predecessor among the Deities, there were some, the poet Manilius being of the number, who considered that heaven was almost over-peopled by him. Augustus, however, was not the sole author of the story of the apotheosis of Julius Caesar. The people had previously attempted to deify him, though opposed by Cicero and Dolabella. In the funeral oration which was delivered over Julius Caesar by Antony, he spoke of him as a God, and the populace, moved by his eloquence, and struck at his blood-stained garments and his body covered with wounds, were filled with indignation against the conspirators, and were about to take the corpse to the Capitol, there to be buried; but the priests would not permit it, and had it brought back to the Forum, where it was burnt. Dio Cassius says, that the Roman people raised an altar on the spot where the body had been burnt, and endeavoured to make libations and to offer sacrifices there, as to a Divinity, but that the Consuls overthrew the altar. Suetonius says, that a pillar was also erected to him, of about twenty feet in height, with the inscription, 'parenti patriae,' 'To the father of his country,' and that for some time persons resorted to that spot to offer sacrifices and to make vows. He adds, that he was made a Divinity by a public decree, but he does not say at what time.


London: Printed by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, Stamford Street and Charing Cross.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Errors and Anomalies noted by transcriber

Abbreviations in the form "II.XIV Exp." mean "Book II, Fable XIV, Explanation" (appended to most Fables).

Hyphenization is inconsistent—for example, the forms "sea monster" and "sea-monster" both occur—and is not marked unless one form is clearly anomalous. Errors and omissions in Greek diacritical marks have been silently corrected.

VIII.I he ordered the halsers of the fleet to be loosened [variant spelling of "hawsers"] VIII.II FABLE II. [FABLE VI.] They immediately sent ambassadors [ambasssadors] VIII.V and do not trust thyself [invisible h] IX.II Fn. 22: Branching holm oak. [body text has "holm-oak"] IX.V (if I could {only} recall what has been destined) [recal] X.I for the newmade bride [elsewhere "new-made" with hyphen] Exp.: Orpheus, too, is supposed to have [to] X.VIII Fn. 43: Clarke translates it 'Coysts,' [Clarke (1752) has "costys", but this is hardly less obscure.] Fn. 48: whether the festival [invisible e in "the"] X.IX FABLE IX. [FABLE VI.] XI.III with the steel {scissars}, [attested variant spelling] XI.VI Fn. 31: The Magnetes. [Magnete] XII.III, IV Fn. 38: the two-fold form of the Centaurs [elsewhere "twofold" without hyphen] XII.V, VI thou shouldst have a forgetfulness [forgetfuless] XIII.I FABLE I. [error for "FABLES I. AND II."?] who could better succeed the great Achilles [succed] XIII.III, IV Exp. Le Clerc considers him [consideres] XIII.V, VII Fn. 64: from the Greek word [work] XIII.VII the hatred of the Cyclop [Cylop] XIV.II Exp. An aged woman presented to Tarquinius Superbus three books [text unchanged: error for "nine books"] XIV.V they attended our footsteps [foosteps] XIV.VI Fn. 28: so called from the whiteness [ths] XIV.X Exp. The story of the heron [invisible y] XIV.XII, XIII Fn. 59: the apartments on the ground floor [grouud] XV.II, III If any thing is noxious, [word "If" missing at line-beginning (Latin "siqua nocent")] XV.II, III and her agreable food [spelling unchanged] Fn. 10: The goat is led. [body text has "was led"] Fn. 13: The line-endings of this footnote are missing, apparently through printing error. Reconstructed words are shown in {braces}. The word given as "then" might be "also" or any word of similar length: ... was an athlete of such stren{gth} ... with a blow of his fist, and {then} ... and afterwards to devour it. {His} [page break in footnote: remainder is clear] Fn. 31: ... See Book IV. l. 285 [invisible l] Fn. 49: flourishing in the time of Pythagoras [invisible t in "time"] XV.IV, V, VI Exp According to Euripides [Acccording]

Variant Names

This is not intended to be a complete list.

Dieresis is unpredictable; forms such as "Alcathoe" and "Pirithous" are common, and have been silently corrected. Since the ligatures "ae" and "oe" are used consistently, dieresis in "oe" and "ae" can be assumed even when not explicitly indicated.

Treatment of names in Ia- (pronounced as two syllables) is inconsistent. "Iaesion" and "Iaenthe" are regularly written with dieresis, while "Iarbas", "Iapyx", "Iapygia" are written without.

The forms "Lapithean" and "Lapithaean" both occur.

The "Lilyboeus" of Books I-VII is now correctly written "Lilybaeus", but Erysichthon (with y or upsilon) is written "Erisicthon".

As in Books I-VII, spellings in "-cth-" (Erisicthon, Erectheus) are used consistently in place of "-chth-". Similarly, Phaethon is written "Phaeton".


Invisible periods (full stops) at line-end have been silently supplied. Unless otherwise noted, items in the following list were missing the closing quotation mark, either single or double.

Introduction: published by Joseph Davidson, [. for ,] VIII.II Exp. ...the one resembled Minos, and the other Taurus. [invisible .] VIII.IV brandished with their broad points. [, for .] Fn. 33: ... the sons of Aphareus. [invisible .] VIII.V "Come," said he, "famous Cecropian [second , invisible] VIII.VII nor has any woman been standing {here}.' [" for '] Fn. 100: Ver. 846. [invisible . in "Ver."] ——: 'Tandem, demisso in viscera censu;' [invisible ;] ——: swallowed down all his estate into his g—ts.' [Clarke writes out "guts"] X.IV serves nectar to Jove." X.VI changed into hard rocks." X.VIII or take away from them, the polished quivers." X.IX Fn. 58: '... in his boyish face!' X.X Fn. 64: '... riding in her light chair. [missing '] Exp.: during that festival." / This notion of the mourning [open quote at beginning of final paragraph instead of close quote at end of previous paragraph] XI.I After they, in their rage [superfluous " at beginning] XI.VII Fn. 39: ... 'The ends or points of the sail-yards, [missing '] Fn. 42: 'tis the dreadful kind of death [invisible ' in 'tis] Fn. 51: they lost all recollection [invisible -coll-] Fn. 54: ... Ver. 663. [, for . in "Ver."] XII.I, II Fn. 16: 'He overset him ...' [invisible open quote] XII.III, IV Fn. 21: a people of Thessaly, who, [invisible ,] Fn. 22: Clarke renders these lines, 'Come, tell us... by any one?' ... the old blade replied.' [mismatched quotes as shown] Fn. 27: Clarke renders ... 'goblets of blood.' [if this is an error for "gobbets", it is Clarke's error] XII.V, VI of the dispute to them all. [superfluous " at end] XIII.I Fn. 40: ... Helenus, the son of Priam. [invisible ,] XIII.VII "'But didst thou {but} know me well [missing inner '] ... retained that ancient name." Exp.: Elpe, the daughter of the king, carried her off. [, for .] XIV.II Exp.: which was in consequence called 'Byrsa.' [missing open quote] XIV.VI 'And yet thou shalt not escape me,' she said he sped more swiftly than usual, [invisible ,] "'The setting Sun [missing inner '] XV.II, III Fn. 9: Clarke translates 'Non utilis auctor,' XV.IV, V, VI Exp 'But,' as the same author says [missing open quote] XV.VII Fn. 76: for 'colubris,' 'snakes.' [missing inner open quote in "'snakes'"] XV.VIII Fn. 84: 'Veni, Vidi, Vici,' [invisible ,']

Footnote Numbers

Numbers begin from 1 in each Book. Almost all Books had duplications in the sequence, usually in the form "17*"; some had omissions. In this e-text, footnotes have been renumbered consecutively within each Book, without duplication.

Bk. VIII: Note 6: tag missing in text ... that thou dost desert me?: extraneous footnote tag 7, no note Notes 39-79: printed as 38*, 39-78 Notes 80-101: printed as 78*, 79-99 Bk. IX: Notes 49-80: printed as 48*, 49-79 Bk. X: Note 47: tag misprinted as 74 Note 50-65: 50 omitted, printed as 51-66 Note 66: 67 omitted, printed as 68 Bk. XI: Notes 36-63: printed as 35*, 36-62 Note 51: tag (50) missing in text Bk. XII: Notes 49-55: 49 omitted, printed as 50-56 Note 56: misprinted as 59 (for 57) Bk. XIII: Notes 31-41: 31 omitted, printed as 32-42 Notes 42-51: printed as 42*, 43-51 Notes 52-78: 52 omitted, printed as 53-79 Bk. XIV: Note 6: tag missing in text Note 19: footnote and tag misprinted as 17 Notes 20-27: printed as 18-25 Notes 28-32: 26 omitted, printed as 27-31 Notes 33-41: 32 omitted, printed as 33-41 Notes 42-63: 42 omitted, printed as 43-64 Bk. XV: Notes 9-11: 9 omitted, printed as 10-12 Note 10: tag (11) missing in text Notes 12-33: 13 omitted, printed as 14-35 Notes 34-63: printed as 35*, 36-64 Notes 64-84: printed as 64*, 65-84 Notes 85-93: 85 omitted, printed as 86-94


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