[1] Come, warlike Mars; lay down thy shield and spear for a brief space, and from thy helmet loose thy glistering locks. Haply thou mayest ask, What has a poet to do with Mars? From thee the month which now I sing doth take its name. Thyself dost see that fierce wars are waged by Minerva’s hands. Is she for that the less at leisure for the liberal arts? After the pattern of Pallas take a time to put aside the lance. Thou shalt find something to do unarmed. Then, too, wast thou unarmed when the Roman priestess1 captivated thee, that thou mightest bestow upon this city a great seed.

[11] Silvia the Vestal (for why not start from her?) went in the morning to fetch water to wash the holy things. When she had come to where the path ran gently down the sloping bank, she set down her earthenware pitcher from her head. Weary, she sat her on the ground and opened her bosom to catch the breezes, and composed her ruffled hair. While she sat, the shady willows and the tuneful birds and the soft murmur of the water induced to sleep. Sweet slumber overpowered and crept stealthily over her eyes, and her languid hand dropped from her chin. Mars saw her; the sight inspired him with desire, and his desire was followed by possession, but by his power divine he hid his stolen joys. Sleep left her; she lay big, for already within her womb there was Rome’s founder. Languid she rose, nor knew why she rose so languid, and leaning on a tree she spake these words: “Useful and fortunate, I pray, may that turn out which I saw in a vision of sleep. Or was the vision too clear for sleep? Methought I was by the fire of Ilium, when the woolen fillet slipped from my hair and fell before the sacred hearth. From the fillet there sprang a wondrous sight – two palm-trees side by side. Of them one was the taller and by its heavy boughs spread a canopy over the whole world, and with its foliage touched the topmost stars. Lo, mine uncle2 wielded an axe against the trees; the warning terrified me and my heart did throb with fear. A woodpecker – the bird of Mars and a she-wolf fought in defence of the twin trunks, and by their help both of the palms were saved.” She finished speaking, and by a feeble effort lifted the full pitcher; she had filed it while she was telling her vision. Meanwhile her belly swelled with a heavenly burden, for Remus was growing, and growing, too, was Quirinus.

[43] When now two heavenly signs remained for the bright god to traverse, before the year could complete its course and run out, Silvia became a mother. The images of Vesta are said to have covered their eyes with their virgin hands; certainly the altar of the goddess trembled, when her priestess was brought to bed, and the terrified flame sank under its own ashes. When Amulius learned of this, scorner of justice that he was (for he had vanquished his brother and robbed him of power), he ordered the twins to be sunk in the river. The water shrank from such a crime, and the boys were left on dry land. Who knows not that the infants throve on the milk of a wild beast, and that a woodpecker often brought food to the abandoned babes? Nor would I pass thee by in silence, Larentia, nurse of so great a nation, nor the help that thou didst give, poor Faustulus. Your honour will find its place when I come to tell of the Larentalia; that festival falls in December, the month dear to the mirthful spirits. Thrice six years old was the progeny of Mars, and already under their yellow hair sprouted a fresh young beard: to all the husbandmen and masters of herds the brothers, sons of Ilia,3 gave judgement by request. Often they came home glad at blood of robbers spilt, and to their own domain drove back the raided kine. When they heard the secret of their birth, their spirits rose with the revelation of their sire, and they thought shame to have a name in a few huts. Amulius fell, pierced by the sword of Romulus, and the kingdom was restored to their aged grandfather. Walls were built, which, small though they were, it had been better for Remus not to have overleaped. And now what of late had been woods and pastoral solitudes was a city, when thus the father of the eternal city spake: “Umpire of war, from whose blood I am believed to have sprung (and to confirm that belief I will give many proofs), we name the beginning of the Roman year after thee; the first month shall be called by my father’s name.” The promise was kept; he did call the month by his father’s name: this pious deed is said to have been well pleasing to the god. And yet the earlier ages had worshipped Mars above all gods4; therein a warlike folk followed their bent. Pallas is worshipped by the sons of Cecrops, Diana by Minoan Crete, Vulcan by the Hypsipylian land,5 Juno by Sparta and Pelopid Mycenae, while the Maenalian country6 worships Faunus, whose head is crowned with pine., Mars was the god to be revered by Latium, for that he is the patron of the sword; ‘twas the sword that won for a fierce race empire and glory.

[87] If you are at leixure, look into the foreign calendars, and you shall find in them also a month named after Mars. It was the third month in the Alban calendar, the fifth in the Faliscan, the sixth among thy peoples, land of the Hernicans. The Arician calendar is in agreement with the Alban and with that of the city7 whose lofty walls were built by the hand of Telegonus. It is the fifth month in the calendar of the Laurentines, the tenth in the calendar of the hardy Aequians, the fourth in the calendar of the folk of Cures, and the soldierly Pelignians agree with their Sabine forefathers; both peoples reckon Mars the god of the fourth month.8 In order that he might take precedence of all these, Romulus assigned the beginning of the year to the author of his being.

[99] Nor had the ancients as many Kalends as we have now: their year was short by two months. Conquered Greece had not yet transmitted her arts to the victors; her people were eloquent but hardly brave. The doughty warrior understood the art of Rome, and he who could throw javelins was eloquent. Who then had noticed the Hyades or the Pleiads, daughters of Atlas, or that there were two poles in the firmament? and that there are two Bears, of which the Sidonians9 steer by Cynosura,10 while the Grecian mariners keeps his eye on Helice?11 and that the signs which the brother travels through in a long year the horses of the sister traverse in a single month?12 The stars ran their courses free and unmarked throughout the year; yet everybody agreed that they were gods. Heaven’s gliding ensigns were beyond their reach, not so their own, to lose which was a great crime. Their ensigns were of hay, but as deep reverence was paid to hay as now you see paid to the eagles. A long pole carried the hanging bundles (maniples); from them the private (maniplaris) soldier takes his name. Hence through ignorance and lack of science they reckoned lustres, each of which was too short by ten months. A year was counted when the moon had returned to the full for the tenth time: that number was then in great honour, whether because that is the number of fingers by which we are wont to count, or because a woman brings forth in twice five months, or because the numerals increase up to ten, and from that we start a fresh round. Hence Romulus divided the hundred senators into ten groups, and instituted ten companies of spear-men (hastate); and just so many companies there were of first-line men (principes), and also of javelin-men (pilani); and so too with the men who served on horses furnished by the state. Nay, Romulus assigned jus t the same number of divisions to the tribes, the Titienses, the Ramnes, as they are called, and the Luceres. Therefore in his arrangement of the year he kept the familiar number. That is the period for which a sad wife mourns for her husband.

[135] If you would convince yourself that the Kalends of March were really the beginning of the year, you may refer to the following proofs: the laurel-branch of the flamens, after remaining in its place the whole year, is removed (on that day), and fresh leaves are put in the place of honour; then the king’s door is green with the tree of Phoebus, which is set at it; and at thy portal, Old Chapel of the Wards, the same things is done13; the withered laurel is withdrawn from the Ilian14 hearth, that Vesta also may make a brave show, dressed in fresh leaves. Besides ‘tis said that a new fire is lighted in her secret shrine, and the rekindled flame gains strength. And to my thinking no small proof that the years of old began with March is furnished by the observation that Anna Perenna15 begins to be worshipped in this month. With March, too, the magistrates are recorded to have entered on office, down to the time when, faithless Carthaginians, thou didst wage thy war.16 Lastly, the month of Quintilis is the fifth (quintus) month, reckoned from March, and with its begin the months which take their names from numbers. (Numa) Pompilius, who was escorted to Rome from the lands where olives grow, was the first to perceive that two months were lacking to the year, whether he learned that from the Samian sage17 who though that we could be born again, or whether it was his Egeria who taught him. Nevertheless the calendar was still erratic down to the time when Caesar took it, like so much else, in charge.18 That god, the founder of a mighty line, did not deem the matter beneath his attention. Fain was he to foreknow that heaven which was his promised home; he would not enter as a stranger god mansions unknown. He is said to have drawn up an exact table of the periods within which the sun returns to his proper signs. To three hundred and give days he added ten time six days and fifth19 part of the whole day. That is the measure of the year. The single day compounded of the (five) parts is to be added to the lustre.

KAL. MART. 1st

[167] “If bards may list to secret promptings of the gods, as surely rumour thinks they may, tell me, thou Marching God (Gradivus), why matrons keep thy feast, whereas thou art apter to receive service from men.” Thus I inquired, and thus did Mars answer me, laying aside his helmet, though in his right hand he kept his throwing spear: “Now for the first time in the year am I, a god of war, invoked to promote the pursuits of peace, and I march into new camps, nor does it irk me so to do; upon this function also do I love to dwell, lest Minerva should fancy that such power is hers alone. They answer take, laborious singer of the Latin days, and write my words on memory’s tablets. If you would trace it back to its beginning, Rome was but little, nevertheless in that little town was hope of this great city. The walls were already standing, boundaries too cramped for future peoples, but then deemed to large for their inhabitants. If you ask what my son’s palace was, behold yon house of reeds and straw.20 There on the litter did he take the boon of peaceful sleep, and yet from that same bed he passed among the stars.

[187] Already the Roman had a name that reached beyond his city, but neither wife nor wife’s father had he. Wealthy neighbours scorned to take poor men for their sons-in-law; hardly did they believe that I myself was the author of the breed. It told against the Romans that they dwelt in cattle-stalls, and fed sheep, and owned a few acres of waste land. Birds and beasts mate each with its kind, and a snake has some female of which to breed. The right of intermarriage is granted to peoples far away; yet was there no people that would wed with Romans. I chafed and bestowed on thee, Romulus, thy father’s temper. ‘A truce to prayers!’ I said, ‘What thou seekest, arms will give.’ Romulus prepared a feast for Consus.21 The rest that happened on that day Consus will tell thee, when thou shalt come to sing of his rites. Cures and all who suffered the same wrong were furious: then for the first time did a father wage war upon his daughters’ husbands.22 And now the ravished brides could claim the style of mothers also, and yet the war between the kindred folks kept lingering on, when the wives assembled by appointment in the temple of Juno. Among them my son’s23 wife thus made bold to speak: ‘O wives ravished alike – for that is a trait we have in common – no longer may we dawdle in our duties to our kin. The battle is set in array, but choose for which side ye will pray the gods to intervene: on one side stand our husbands in arms and on the other side your sires: the question is whether ye prefer to be widows or orphans. I will give you a piece of advice both bold and dutiful.’ She gave the advice: they obeyed, and unbound their hair, and clad their bodies in the sad weeds of mourners. Already the armies were drawn up in array, alert for carnage; already the bugle was about to give the signal for battle, when the ravished wives interposed between their fathers and husbands, bearing at their bosom the dear pledges of love, their babes. When with their streaming hair they reached the middle of the plain, they knelt down on the ground, and the grandchildren stretched out their little arms to their grandfathers with winsome cries, as if they understood. Such as could cried ‘Grandfather!’ to him whom then they saw for the first time; such as could hardly do it were forced to try. The weapons and the passions of the warriors fall, and laying their swords aside fathers-in-law and sons-in-law grasp each other’s hands. They praise and embrace their daughters, and the grandsire carried his grandchild on his shield; that was a sweeter use to which to put the shield.

[229] Hence the duty, no light one, of celebrating the first day, my Kalends, is incumbent on Oebalian24 mothers, either because, boldly thrusting themselves on the bare blades, they by their tears did end these martial wars; or else mothers duly observe the rites on my day, because Ilia was happily made a mother by me. Moreover, frosty winter then at last retires, and shorn by the cold, return to the trees, and moist within the tender shoot the bud doth swell; now too the rank grass, long hidden, discovers secret paths whereby to lift its head in air. Now is the field fruitful, now is the hour for breeding cattle, now doth the bird upon the bough construct a nest and home; ‘tis right that Latin mothers should observe the fruitful season, for in their travail they both fight and pray. Add to this that where the Roman king kept watch, on the hill which now bears the name of Esquiline,25 a temple was founded, if I remember aright, on this very day by the Latin matrons in honour of Juno.

[249] But why should I spin out the time and burden your memory with various reasons? The answer that you seek stands out plainly before your eyes. My mother loves brides; a crowd of mothers throngs my temple; so pious a reason is above all becoming to her and me.” 26 Bring ye flowers to the goddess; this goddess delights in flowering plants; with fresh flowers wreathe your heads. Say ye, “Thou, Lucina, hast bestowed on us the light (lucem) of life”; say ye, “thou dost hear the prayer of women in travail.” But let her who is with child unbind her hair before she prays, in order that the goddess may gently unbind her teeming womb.

[259] Who will now tell me why the Salii27 bear the heavenly weapons of Mars and sing of Mamurius? Inform me, thou nymph who on Diana’s grove and lake dost wait; thou nymph, wife of Numa, come tell of thine own deeds. In the Arician vale there is a lake begirt by shady woods and hallowed by religion of old.28 Here Hippolytus29 lies hid, who by the reins of his steeds was rent in pieces: hence no horses enter that grove. The long fence is draped with hanging threads, and many a tablet there attests the merit of the goddess. Often doth a woman, whose prayer has been answered, carry from the City burning torches, while garlands wreathe her brows. The strong of hand and fleet of foot do there reign kings,30 and each is slain thereafter even as himself has slain. A pebbly brook flows down with fitful murmur; oft have I drunk of it, but in little sips. Egeria it is who doth supply the water, goddess dear to the Camenae31; she was wife and councillor to Numa. At first the Quirites were too prone to fly to arms; Numa resolved to soften their fierce temper by force of law and fear of gods. Hence laws were made, that the stronger might not in all things have his way, and rites, handed down from the fathers, began to be piously observed. Men put off savagery, justice was more puissant than arms, citizen thought shame to fight with citizen, and he who but now had shown himself truculent would at the sight of an altar be transformed and offer wine and salted spelt on the warm hearths.

[285] Lo, through the clouds the father of the gods scatters red lightnings, then clears the sky after the torrent rain: never before or since did hurtling fires fall thicker. The king quaked, and terror filled the hearts of the common folk. To the king the goddess spake: “Fear not over much. It is possible to expiate the thunderbolt, and the wrath of angry Jove can be averted. But Picus and Faunus, each of them a deity native to Roman soil, will be able to teach the ritual of expiation.32 They will teach it only upon compulsion. Catch them and clap them in bonds.” And she revealed the ruse by which they could be caught. Under the Aventine there lay a grove black with the shade of holm-oaks; at sight of it you could say, “There is a spirit here.” A sward was in the midst, and, veiled by green moss, there trickled from a rock a rill of never-failing water. At it Faunus and Picus were wont to drink alone. Hither King Numa came, and sacrified a sheep to the spring, and set out bowls full of fragrant wine. Then with his folk he hid him close within a cave. To their accustomed springs the woodland spirits came, and slaked their thirst with copious draughts of wine. Sleep followed the debauch; from the chill cave Numa came forth and thrust the sleeper’s hands into tight shackles. When slumber left them, they tried and strained to burst the shackles, but the more they strained the stronger held the shackles. Then Numa spake, and thus, shaking his horns, Faunus replied: “Thou askest great things, such as it is not lawful for thee to learn by our disclosure: divinities like ours have their appointed bounds. Rustic deities are we, who have dominion in the mountains high: Jove has the mastery over his own weapons. Him thou couldst never of thyself draw down from heaven, but haply thou mayest yet be able, if only thou wilt make use of our help.” So Faunus said. Picus was of the like opinion: “But take our shackles off,” quoth he; “Jupiter will come hither, drawn by powerful art. Witness my promise, cloudy Styx.”

[323] What they did when they were let out of the trap, what spells they spoke, and by what art they dragged Jupiter from his home above, ‘twere sin for man to know. My song shall deal with lawful things, such as the lips of pious bard may speak. They drew (eliciunt) thee from the sky, O Jupiter, whence later generations to this day celebrate thee by the name of Elicius. Sure it is the tops of the Aventine trees did quiver, and the earth sank down under the weight of Jupiter. The king’s heart throbbed, the blood shrank from his whole body, and his bristling hair stood stiff. When he came to himself, “King and father of the high gods,” he said, “vouchsafe expiations sure for thunderbolts, if with pure hands we have touched thine offerings, and if for that which now we ask a pious tongue doth pray.” The god granted his prayer, but hid the truth in sayings dark and tortuous, and alarmed the man by an ambiguous utterance. “Cut off the head,” said he.33 The king answered him, “We will obey. We’ll cut an onion, dug up in my garden.” The god added, “A man’s.” “Thou shalt get,” said the other, “his hair.” The god demanded a life, and Numa answered him, “A fish’s life.” The god laughed and said, “See to it that by these things thou dost expiate my bolts, O man whom none may keep from converse with the gods! But when to-morrow’s sun shall have put forth his full orb, I will give thee pure pledges of empire.” He spake, and in a loud peal of thunder was wafted above the riven sky, leaving Numa worshipping. The king returned joyful and told the Quirites of what had passed. They were slow and loth to believe his saying. “But surely,” said he, “we shall be believed if the event follow my words. Behold, all ye here present, hearken to what to-morrow shall bring forth. When the sun shall have lifted his full orb above the earth. Jupiter will give sure pledges of empire.” They separated full of doubt, and thought it long to await the promised sigh; their belief hung on the coming day. Soft was the earth with hoar frost spread like dew at morn, when the people gathered at the threshold of their king. Forth he came and sat him down in their midst upon a throne of maple wood; unnumbered men stood round him silent.

[361] Scarcely had Phoebus shown a rim above the horizon: their anxious minds with hope and fear did quake. The king took his stand, and, his head veiled in a snow-white hood, lifted up his hands, hands which the gods already knew so well. And thus he spoke: “The time has come to receive the promised boon; fulfil thy promise, Jupiter.” Even while he spoke, the sun had already lifted his full orb above the horizon, and a loud crash rang out from heaven’s vault. Thrice did the god thunder from a cloudless sky, thrice did he hurl his bolts. Take my word for it: what I say is wonderful but true. At the zenith the sky began to yawn; the multitude and their leader lifted up their eyes. Lo, swaying gently in the light breeze, a shield fell down. The people sent up a shout that reached the stars. The king lifted from the ground the gift, but not till he had sacrificed a heifer, which had never submitted her neck to the burden of the yoke, and he called the shield ancile,34 because it was cut away (recisum) on all sides, and there was no angle that you could mark. Then, remembering that the fate of empire was bound up with it, he formed a very shrewd design. He ordered that many shields should be made, wrought after the same pattern, in order to deceive a traitor’s eyes. That task was finished by Mamurius; whether he was more perfect in character or in smithcraft would be a difficult question to decide. Bountiful Numa said to him, “Ask a reward for your service. If I have a reputation for honesty, you shall not ask in vain.” He had already named the Salii from their dancing (saltus), and had given them arms and a song to be sung to a certain tune. Then Mamurius made answer thus: “Give me glory for my reward, and let my name be chanted at the end of the song.” Hence the priests pay the reward that was promised for the work of old, and they invoke Mamurius.35

[293] If, damsel, thou wouldst wed, put off the wedding, however great the haste ye both may be in; short delay hath great advantage. Weapons excite to battle, and battle ill assorts with married folk; when the weapons shall have been stored away, the omens will be more favourable. On these days, too, the robed wife of the Flamen Dialis with peaked cap36 must keep her hair uncombed.

V. NON. 3rd

[399] When the third night of the month has altered its risings, one of the two Fishes will have disappeared. For there are two: one of them is next neighbour to the South Winds, the other to the North Winds; each of them takes its name from the wind.37

III. NON. 5th

[403] When from her saffron cheeks Tithonus’ spouse38 shall have begun to shed the dew at the time of the fifth morn, the constellation, whether it be the Bear-ward or the sluggard Bootes, will have sunk and will escape thy sight. But not so will the Grape-gatherer escape thee. The origin of that constellation also can be briefly told. ‘Tis said that the unshorn Ampelus,39 son of a nymph and a satyr, was loved by Bacchus on the Ismarian hills. Upon him the god bestowed a vine that trailed from an elm’s leafy boughs, and still the vine takes from the boy its name. While he rashly culled the gaudy grapes upon a branch, he tumbled down; Liber bore the lost youth to the stars.

PR. NON. 6th

[415] When the sixth sun climbs up Olympus’ steep from ocean, and through the ether takes his way on his winged steeds, all ye, whoe’er ye are, who worship at the shrine of the chaste Vesta, wish the goddess joy and offer incense on the Ilian hearth. To Caesar’s countless titles, which he has preferred to earn, was added the honour of the pontificate.40 Over the eternal fire the divinity of Caesar, no less eternal, doth preside: the pledges of empire thou seest side by side. Ye gods of ancient Troy, ye worthiest prize to him who bore ye, ye whose weight did save Aeneas from the foe, a priest of the line of Aeneas handles your kindred divinities; Vesta, do thou guard his kindred head!41 Nursed by his sacred hand, ye fires live well. O live undying, flame and leader both, I pray.

NON. 7th

[429] The Nones of March have only one mark42 in the calendar, because they think that on that day the temple of Veiovis was consecrated in front of the two groves.43 When Rolumus surrounded the grove with a high stone wall, “Take refuge here,” said he, “whoe’er thou art; thou shalt be safe.” O from how small a beginning the Roman took his rise! How little to be envied was that multitude of old! But that the strangeness of the name may not prove a stumbling-block to you in your ignorance, learn who that god is, and why he is so called. He is the Young Jupiter: look on his youthful face; look then on his hand, its holds no thunderbolts. Jupiter assumed the thunderbolts after the giants dared attempt to win the sky; at first he was unarmed. Ossa balzed with the new fires (of his thunderbolts); Pelion, too, higher than Ossa, and Olympus, fixed in the solid ground. A she-goat also stands (beside the image of Veiovis); the Cretan nymphs are said to have fed the god; it was the she-goat that gave her milk to the infant Jove. Now I am called on to explain the name. Countrymen call stunted spelt vegrandia, and what is little they call vesca. If that is the meaning of the word, may I not suspect that the shrine of Veiovis is the shrine of the little Jupiter?44

[449] And now when the stars shall spangle the blue sky, look up: you will see the neck of the Gorgonian steed.45 He is said to have leaped forth from the teeming neck of the slain Medusa, his mane bespattered with blood. As he glided above the clouds and beneath the stars, the sky served him as solid ground, and his wing served him for a foot. Soon indignantly he champed the unwonted bit, when his light hoof struck out the Aonian spring.46 Now he enjoys the sky, to which aforetime he soared on wings, and he sparkles bright with fifteen stars.

VII. ID. 8th

[459] Straightway at the fall of night shalt thou see the Cnossian Crown.47 It was through the fault of Theseus that Ariadne was made a goddess. Already had she happily exchanged a perjured spouse for Bacchus, she who gave to a thankless man a clue to gather up.48 Joying in her lot of love, “Why like a rustic maiden did I weep?” quoth she; “his faithlessness has been my gain.” Meantime Liber had conquered the straight-haired Indians and returned, loaded with treasure, from the eastern world. Amongst the fair captive girls there was one, the daughter of a king, who pleased Bacchus all too well. His loving spouse wept, and pacing the winding shore with dishevelled locks she uttered these words: “Lo, yet again, ye billows, list to my like complaint! Lo, yet again, ye sands, receive my tears! I used to say, I remember, ‘Foresworn and faithless Theseus!’ He deserted me: now Bacchus does me the same wrong. Now again I will cry, ‘Let no woman trust a man!’ My case has been repeated, only the name is changed. Would that my lot had ended where it first began! So at this moment had I been no more. Why, Liber, didst thou save me to die on desert sands? I might have ended my griefs once and for all. Bacchus, thou light o’ love! lighter than the leaves that wreathe thy brows! Bacchus, whom I have known only that I should weep! Hast thou dared to trouble our so harmonious loves by bringing a leman before mine eyes? Ah, where is plighted troth? Where are the oaths that thou wast wont to swear? Woe’s me, how often must I speak these self-same words! Thou wast wont to blame Theseus; thou was twont thyself to dub him deceiver; judged by thyself, thine is the fouler sin. Let no man know of this, and let me burn with pangs unuttered, lest they should think that I deserve to be deceived so oft. Above all I would desire the thing were kept from Theseus, that he may not joy to know thee a partner in his guilt. But I suppose a leman fair has been preferred to dusky me: - may that hue fall to my foes! But what does that matter? She is dearer to thee for the very blemish. What art thou about? She defiles thee by her embrace. Bacchus, keep faith, nor prefer any woman to a wife’s love. I have learned to love my love for ever. The horns of a handsome bull won my mother’s heart,49 thine won mine. But my love was cause for praise: hers was shameful. Let me not suffer for my love; thou thyself, Bacchus, didst not suffer for avowing thy flame to me. No wonder that thou dost make me burn; they say thou wert born in the fire and wert snatched from the fire by thy father’s hand.50 I am she to whom thou wert wont to promise heaven. Ah me! what guerdon to I reap instead of heaven!” She finished speaking. Long time had Liber heard her plaint, for as it chanced he followed close behind. He put his arms about her, with kisses dried her tears, and “Let us fare together,” quoth he, “to heaven’s height. As thou hast shared my bed, so shalt thou share my name, for in thy changed state they name shall be Libera; and I will see to it that with thee there shall be a memorial of thy crown, that crown which Vulcan gave to Venus, and she to thee.” He did as he had said and changed the nine jewels of her crown into fires. Now the golden crown doth sparkle with nine stars.

PR. ID. 14th

[517] When he who bears the purple day on his swift car shall six times have lifted up his disc and as often sunk it low, thou shalt a second time behold horse races (Equirria) on that grassy plain whose side is hugged by Tiber’s winding waters. But if perchance the wave has overflowed and floods the plain, the dusty Caelian hill shall receive the horses.

IDUS 15th

[523] On the Ides is held the jovial feast of Anna Perenna51 not far from the banks, O Tiber, who comest from afar. The common folk come, and scattered here and there over the green grass they drink, every lad reclining beside his lass. Some camp under the open sky; a few pitch tents; some make a leafy hut of boughs. Others set up reeds in place of rigid pillars, and stretching out their robes place them upon the reeds. But they grow warm with sun and wine, and they pray for as many years as they take cups, and they count the cups they drink. There shall you find a man who drains as many goblets as Nestor numbered years, and a woman who would live to the Sibyl’s age if cups could work the charm. There they sing the ditties they picked up in the theatres, beating time to the words with nimble hands; they set the bowl down, and trip in dances, lubberly, while the spruce sweetheart skips about with streaming hair. On the way home they reel, a spectacle for vulgar eyes, and the crowd that meets them calls them “blest.” I met the procession lately; I thought it notable; a drunk old woman lugged a drunk old man.

[543] But since erroneous rumours are rife as to who this goddess is, I am resolved to throw no cloak about her tale. Poor Dido had burned with the fire of love for Aeneas; she had burned, too, on a pyre built for her doom. Her ashes were collected, and on the marble of her tomb was this short stanza, which she herself dying had left: “Aeneas caused her death and lent the blade: Dido by her own hand in dust was laid.”

[531] Straightway the Numidians invaded the defenceless realm, and Iarbas the Moor52 captured and took possession of the palace; and remembering how she had spurned his suit, “Lo, now,” quoth he, “I enjoy Elissa’s bridal bower, I whom she so oft repelled.” The Tyrians53 fled hither and thither, as each one chanced to stray, even as bees oft wander doubtingly when they have lost their king. Anna54 was driven from home, and weeping left her sister’s walls; but first she paid the honours due to her dead sister. The soft ashes drank unguents mixed with tears, and they received an offering of hair clipped from her head. And thrice she said, “Farewell!” thrice she took the ashes up and pressed them to her lips, and under them she thought she saw her sister. Having found a ship and comrades to share her flight, she glided before the wind, looking back at the city’s walls, her sister’s darling work.

[567] There is a fertile island Melite,55 lashed by the waves of the Libyan sea and neighbour to the barren Cosyra.56 Anna steered for it, trusting to the king’s hospitality, which she had known of old; for Battus there was king, a wealthy host. When he learned the misfortunes of the two sisters, “This land,” said he, “small though it be, is thine,” and he would have observed the duties of hospitality to the end, but that he feared Pygmalion’s57 mighty power. For the third time the reaped corn had been carried to the threshing-floor to be stripped of the husk, and for the third time the new wine had poured into the hollow vats. Twice had the sun traversed the signs of the zodiac, and a third year was passing, when Anna was compelled to seek a new land of exile. Her brother came and demanded her surrender with threat of war. The king loathed arms and said to Anna, “We are unwarlike. Do thou seek safety in flight.” At his bidding she fled and committed her bark to the wind and the waves. Her brother was more cruel than any sea. Near the fishy streams of stony Crathis there is a champain small; the natives call it Camere.58 Thither she bent her course, and was no farther off than nine shots of a sling, when the sails at first dropped and flapped in the puffs of wind. “Cleave the water with the oars,” the seaman said. And while they made ready to furl the sails with the ropes, the swift south wind struck the curved poop and swept the ship, despite the captain’s efforts, into the open sea; the land receded from their sight. The surge assails them, and from its lowest depths the ocean is upheaved: the hull gulps down the foaming waters. Seamanship is powerless against the wind, and the steersman no longer handles the helm, so he too resorts to prayers for help. The Phoenician exile is tossed on the swelling waves and hides her wet eyes in her robe: then for the first time did she call her sister Dido happy, and happy any woman who anywhere did tread dry land. A mighty blast pulled the ship to the Laurentine shore; she went down and perished, but all on board got safe to land.

[601] By this time Aeneas had gained the kingdom and the daughter of Latinus and had blended the two peoples. While, accompanied by Achates alone, he paced barefoot a lonely path on the shore with which his wife had dowered him, he spied Anna wandering, nor could bring himself to think that it was she. Why should she come into the Latin land? thought he to himself. Meantime, “’Tis Anna!” cried Achates. At the sound of the name she looked up. Alas! what should she do? should she flee? where should she look for the earth to yawn for her? Her hapless sister’s fate rose up before her eyes. The Cytherean59 hero perceived her distress and accosted her; yet did he weep, touched by memory of thee, Elissa. "Anna, by this land which in days gone by thou usedst to hear a happier fate had granted me; and by the gods who followed me and here of late have found a home, I sear that they did often chide my loiterings. Nor yet did I dread her death; far from me was that fear. Woe’s me! her courage surpassed belief. Tell not the tale. I saw the unseemly wounds upon her body what time I dared to visit the house of Tartarus. But thou, whether thine own resolve or some god has brought thee to our shores, do thou enjoy my kingdom’s comforts. Much our gratitude doth owe to thee, and something, too, to Elissa. Welcome shalt thou be for thine own sake and welcome for thy sister’s.” She believed his words, for no other hope was left her, and she told her wanderings. And when she entered the palace, clad in Tyrian finery, Aeneas opened his lips, while the rest of the assembly kept silence: “My wife Lavinia, I have a dutiful reason for entrusting this lady to thy care; when I was shipwrecked I consumed her substance. She is of Tyrian descent; she owns a kingdom on the Libyan coast; I pray thee, love her as a dear sister.”

[633] Lavinia promised everything, but in the silence of her heart she hid her fancied wrong and dissembled her fears; and though she saw many presents carried before her eyes, still she thought that many were also sent secretly. She had not decided what to do. She hated like a fury, and hatched a plot, and longed to die avenged. ‘Twas night: before her sister’s bed it seemed that Dido stood, her unkempt hair dabbled in blood. “Fly, fly this dismal house,” she seemed to say, “O falter not!!” At the word a blast did slam the creaking door. Up she leaped, and quick she threw herself out of the low window upon the ground: her very fear had made her bold. And as soon as terror carried her clad in her ungirt tunic, she ran as runs a frightened doe that hears the wolves. ‘Tis thought the horned Numicius60 swept her away in his swollen stream and hid her in his pools. Meanwhile a clamour loud they sought the lost Sidonian lady through the fields: traces and footprints met their eyes: on coming to the banks they found her tracks upon the banks. The conscious river checked and hushed his stream. Herself appeared to speak: “I am a nymph of the calm Numicius. In a perennial river I hide, and Anna Perenna is my name.” Straightway they feast joyfully in the fields over which they had roamed, and toast themselves and the day in deep draughts of wine.

[657] Some think that this goddess is the moon, because the moon fills up the measure of the year (annus) by her months; others deem that she is Themis; others suppose that she is the Inachian cow.61 You shall find some to say that thou, Anna, art a nymph, daughter of Azan, and that thou didst give Jupiter his first food. Yet another report, which I will relate, ahs come to my ears, and it is not far from what we may take as true. The common folk of old, not yet protected by tribunes, had fled, and abode upon the top of the Sacred Mount62; now, too, the provisions which they had brought with them and the bread fit for human use had failed them. There was a certain Anna, born at suburban Bovillae, a poor old woman, but very industrious.63 She, with her grey hair bound up in a light cap, used to mould country cakes with tremulous hand, and it was her wont at morn to distribute them piping hot among the people: the supply was welcome to the people. When peace was made at home, they set up a statue to Perenna, because she had supplied them in their time of need.

[675] Now it remains for me to tell why girls chant ribald songs; for they assemble and sing certain scurrilous verses. When Anna had been but lately made a goddess, the Marching God (Gradivus) came to her, and taking her aside spoke as follows: “Thou art worshipping in my month, I have joined my season to thine: I have great hope in the serve that thou canst render me. An armed god myself, I have fallen in love with the armed goddess Minerva64; I burn and for a long time have nursed this wound. She and I are deities alike in our pursuits; contrive to unite us. That office well befits thee, kind old dame.” So he spoke. She duped the god by a false promise, and kept him dangling on in foolish hope by dubious delays. When he often pressed her, “I have done thy bidding,” said she, “she is conquered and has yielded at last to thine entreaties.” The lover believed her and made ready the bridal chamber. Thither they escorted Anna, like a bride, with a veil upon her face. When he would have kissed her, Mars suddenly perceived Anna; now shame, now anger moved the god befooled. The new goddess laughed at dear Minerva’s lover. Never did anything please Venus more than that. So old jokes are cracked and ribald songs are sung, and people love to remember how Anna choused the great god.

[697] I was about to pass by in silence the swords that stabbed the prince,65 when Vesta spoke thus from her chaste hearth: “Doubt not to recall them: he was my priest,66 it was at me these sacrilegious hands struck with the steel. I myself carried the man away, and left naught but his wraith behind; what fell by the sword was Caesar’s shade.” Transported to the sky he saw the halls of Jupiter, and in the great Forum he owns a temple dedicated to him. But all the daring sinners who, in defiance of the gods’ will, profaned the pontiff’s head, lie low in death, the death they merited. Witness Philippi and they whose scattered bones whiten the ground. This, this was Caesar’s work, his duty, his first task by righteous arms to avenge his father.

XVII. KAL. APR. 16th

[711] When the next dawn shall have refreshed the tender grass, the Scorpion will be visible in his first part.

XVI. KAL. 17th

[713] The third day after the Ides is a very popular celebration of Bacchus. O Bacchus, be gracious to thy bard while he sings of thy festival. But I shall not tell of Semele67; if Jupiter had not brought his thunderbolts with him to her, thou hadst been born an unarmed wight. Nor shall I tell how, in order that thou mightest be born as a boy in due time, the function of a mother was completed in thy father’s body. It were long to relate the triumphs won by the god over the Sithonians and the Scythians, and how he subdued the peoples of India, that incense-bearing land. I will say naught of him who fell a mournful prey to his own Theban mother,68 nor of Lycurgus, whom frenzy drove to hack at his own son. Lo now, fain would I speak of the Tyrrhenian monsters, men suddenly transformed into fish,69 but that is not the business of this song; the business of this song is to set forth the reasons why a planter of vines hawks cakes to the people. Before they birth, Liber, the altars were without offerings, and grass grew on the cold hearths. They tell how, after subjugating the Ganges and the whole East, though didst set apart first-fruits for great Jupiter. Thou were the first to offer cinnamon and incense from the conquered lands, and the roast flesh of oxen led in triumph.

[735] Libations (libamina) derive their name from their author, and so do cakes (liba), because part of them is offered on the hallowed hearths. Cakes are made for the god, because he delights in sweet juices, and they say that honey was discovered by Bacchus. Attended by the satyrs he was going from sandy Hebrus (my tale includes a pleasant jest), and had come to Rhodope and flowery Pangaeus, when the cymbals in the hands of his companions clashed. Lo, drawn by the tinkle, winged things, as yet unknown, assemble, and the bees follow the sounding brass. Liber collected the stranglers and shut them up in a hollow tree; and he was rewarded by the discovery of honey. Once the satyrs and the bald-pated ancient70 had tasted it, they sought for the yellow combs in every grove. In a hollow elm the old fellow heard the humming of a swarm; he spied the combs and kept his counsel. And sitting lazily on the back of an ass, and leaning upon a branch stump he greedily reached at the honey stored in the bole. Thousands of hornets gathered, and thrust their stings into his bald pate, and left their mark on his snub-nosed face. Headlong he fell, and the ass kicked him, while he called to his comrades and implored their help. The satyrs ran to the spot and laughed at their parent’s swollen face: he limped on his hurt knee. Bacchus himself laughed and taught him to smear mud on his wounds; Silenus took the hint and smudged his face with mire. The father god71 enjoys honey, and it is right that we should give to its discoverer golden honey infused in hot cakes.

[763] The reason why a woman presides at the festival is plain enough: Bacchus rouses bands of women by his thyrsus. You ask why it is an old woman who does it. That age is more addicted to wine, and loves the bounty of the teeming vine. Why is she wreathed with ivy? Ivy is most dear to Bacchus. Why that is so can also soon be told. They say that when the stepmother72 was searching for the boy, the nymphs of Nysa screened the cradle in ivy leaves.

[771] It remains for me to discover why the gown of liberty73 is given to boys, fair Bacchus, on thy day, and a youth, and thy age is midway between the two; or it may be that, because thou art a father, fathers commend to thy care and divine keeping the pledges that they love, their sons; or it may be that because thou art Liber, the gown of liberty is assumed and a freer (liberior) life is entered upon under thine auspices. Or was it because, in the days when the ancients tilled the fields more diligently, and a senator laboured on his ancestral land, when a consul exchanged the bent plough for the rods and exes of office, and it was no crime to have horny hands, the country folk used to come to the City for the games (but that was an honour paid to the gods, not a consession to the popular tastes, the discoverer of the grape74 held on his own day those games which now he shares with the torch-bearing goddess75); and the day therefore seemed not unsuitable for conferring the gown, in order that a crowd might gather round the novice? Thou Father God, hither turn thy horned head, mild and propitious, and to the favouring breezes spread the sails of my poetic art!

[792] On this day, if I remember aright, and on the preceding day, there is a procession to the Argei. What the Argei are, will be told in the proper place.76 The star of the Kite77 slopes downwards towards the Lycaonian Bear: on that night it becomes visible. If you would know what raised the bird to heaven. Saturn had been dethroned by Jupiter. In his wrath he stirred up the strong Titans to take arms and sought the help the Fates allowed him. There was a bull born of its mother Earth, a wondrous monster, the hinder part whereof was a serpent: him, at the warning of the three Fates, grim Styx had shut up in gloomy woods enclosed by a triple wall. There was an oracle that he who should burn the inwards of the bull in the flames would be able to conquer the eternal gods. Briareus sacrificed him with an axe made of adamant, and was just about to put the entrails on the fire: Jupiter commanded the birds to snatch them away; the kite brought them to him and was promoted to the stars for his services.

XIV – XI. KAL. 19th - 22nd

[809] After an interval of one day rites are performed in honour of Minerva, which get their name from a group of five days.78 The first day is bloodless, and it is unlawful to combat with the sword, because Minerva was born on that day. The second day and three besides are celebrated by the spreading of sand79: the warlike goddess delights in drawn swords. Ye boys and tender girls, pray now to Pallas; he who shall have won the favour of Pallas will be learned. When once they have won the favour of Pallas, let girls learn to card the wool and to unload the full distaffs. She also teaches how to traverse the upright warp with the shuttle, and she drives home the loose threads with the comb. Worship her, thou who dost remove stains from damaged garments; worship her, thou who dost make ready the brazen caldrons for the fleeces. If Pallas frown, no man shall make shoes well, though he were more skilful than Tychius80; and though he were more adroit with his hands than Epeus81 of old, yet shall he be helpless, if Pallas be angry with him. Ye too, who banish sicknesses by Phoebus’ art, bring from your earnings a few gifts to the goddess.82 And spurn her not, ye schoolmasters, ye tribe too often cheated of your income,83 she attracts new pupils; and spurn her not, thou who dost ply the graving tool and paint pictures in encaustic colours, and thou who dost mould the stone with deft hand. She is the goddess of a thousand works: certainly she is the goddess of song; may she be friendly to my pursuits, if I deserve it.

[835] Where the Caelian Mount descends from the height into the plain, at the point where the street is not level but nearly level, you may see the small shrine of Minerva Capta, which the goddess owned for the first time upon her birthday. The origin of the name Capta is doubtful. We call ingenuity “capital”; the goddess herself is ingenious.84 Did she get name of Capta because she is said to have leapt forth motherless with her shield from the crown of her father’s head (caput)? Or because she came to us as a captive at the conquest of the Falerii?85 This very fact is attested by an ancient inscription. Or was it because she has a law which ordains capital punishment for receiving objects stolen from that place? From whatsoever source thou doest derive the title, O Pallas, do thou hold thine aegis ever before our leaders.

X. KAL. 23rd

[849] The last day of the five reminds us to purify the melodious trumpets86 and to sacrifice to the strong god.87

[851] Now you can look up to the sun and say, “Yesterday he set foot on the fleece of the Phrixean sheep.” 88 By the guile of a wicked stepmother89 the seeds had been roasted, so that no corn sprouted in the wonted way. A messenger was sent to the tripods to report, by a sure oracle, what remedy the Delphic god would prescribe for the dearth. But he, corrupted like the seed, brought word that the oracle demanded the death of Helle and the stripling Phrixus; and when the citizens, the season, and Ino compelled the reluctant king to submit to the wicked command, Phrixus and his sister, their brows veiled with fillets, stood together before the altars and bewailed the fate they shared. Their mother90 spied them, as by chance she hovered in the air, and thunder-struck she beat her naked breast with her hand: then, accompanied by clouds, she leaped down into the dragon-begotten city91 and snatched from it her children, and that they might take to flight, a ram all glistering with gold was delivered to them. The ram bore the two over wide seas. It is said that the sister relaxed the hold of her left hand on the ram’s horn, when she gave her own name to the water.92 Her brother almost perished with her in attempting to succour her as she fell, and in holding out his hands at the utmost stretch. He wept at losing her who had shared his double peril, wotting not that she was wedded to the blue god. On reaching the shore the ram was made a constellation, but his golden fleece was carried to Colchian homes.

VII. KAL. 26th

[877] When thrice the Morning Star shall have heralded the coming Dawn, you shall reckon the time of day equal to the time of night.

III. KAL. 30th

[879] When four times from that day the shepherd shall have folded the cloying kids, and four times the grass shall have whitened under the fresh dew, it will be time to adore Janus, and gentle Concord with him, and Roman Safety, and the altar of Peace.

PR. KAL. 31st

[883] The moon rules the months: the period of this month also ends with the worship of the Moon on the Aventine Hill.

1. Silvia. See also ii. 383.
2. Amulius, king of Alba.
3. Romulus and Remus, sons of Ilia (Silvia), or descendants of Ilus (founder of Troy).
4. Mars was worshipped by the Latin and other Italian peoples before the foundation of Rome. He was peculiarly the god of Rome, as Athena was of Athens, Dictynna or Britomartis of Crete, Hephaestus of Lemnos, Hera of Sparta, and Pan of Arcadia.
5. Lemnos, after its queen Hypsipyle.
6. Arcadia.
7. Tusculum.
8. These are local Italian calendars.
9. Phoenicians.
10. Little Bear, kunos oura, the dog’s tail.

11. Great Bear, helikê, the twister.
12. Apollo and Diana, the sun and moon, and the signs of the Zodiac.
13. See ii. 527 note.
14. Vesta.
15. See below, l. 523.
16. If Hannibal is meant here, Ovid refers to the Second Punic War, which began in 218 B.C., but the practice really varied until it was finally fixed in 153 B.C. for January 1.
17. Pythagoras.
18. In 46 B.C.
19. Really a fourth. Ovid seems to have thought that the intercalary day was added in each period of five years.
20. The Casa Romuli on the Palatine; see i. 199.

21. There are two festivals of Consus (Consualia), on August 21 and December 15. When he comes to these the poet will tell of the Rape of the Sabines. In the last battle, the wives threw themselves between the combatants, and persuaded them to make peace. Livy i. 13.
22. A covert allusion to the Civil Wars: Pompey’s wife Julia was Caesar’s daughter.
23. Romulus, for Mars is speaking.
24. Sabine. See i. 260 note.
25. He derives the name from excubiae. It may come from aesculus, “beech.” Romulus had a post here set to watch Titus Tatius on the neighbouring hill.
26. The Matronalia, in honour of Juno Lucina.
27. Dancing priests. They carried a spear and one of the ancilia or sacred shields. See 377 note, below.
28. Lacus Nemorensis. See 377 note, below.
29. Hippolytus, after being torn to pieces by his horses near Troezen, was restored to life by Aesculapius and transported by Diana to the woods of Aricia, where he took the name of Virbius.
30. A runaway slave reigns there as Rex Nemorensis, until a stronger runaway slave dispossesses him. This is the theme of the Golden Bough.

31. Egeria was one of the Camenae, water-nymphs whose spring flowed in a sacred grove outside the Porta Capena; but these came to be identified with the Muses.
32. Faunus, or Faunus Fatuus, son of Picus, the woodpecker. The Greeks told a like story of Silenus.
33. The onion, human hair, and fish, are prescribed as expiation for a thunderstroke. No one knows why, but Ovid suggests that they are a substitute for human sacrifice.
34. As though from ancisus (in Varro ambecisus).
35. Probably an Oscan name of Mars.
36. He wore a cap with an apex, a point or peak.
37. One was called Notios, one Boreios.
38. Aurora.
39. The Greek ampelos, “vine.”
40. Augustus accepted the title Pontifex Maximus on March 6, 12 B.C. As such, he should preside over the Vestal Virgins. He claimed descent from Aeneas, though his adoption by Julius Caesar, and so from Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, brother of Vesta.

41. Cf. iv. 949.
42. F. for Fastus. That is, there is no meeting of the Comitia or the Senate.
43. The space between the two peaks of the Capitol, on each of which were trees originally. Here Romulus enclosed his lucus, the asylum for fugitives.
44. The meaning of ve- in Veiovis is uncertain. In other words it does imply “without” in some form.
45. Pegasus, which sprang from the severed neck of the Gorgon Medusa.
46. Hippocrene, the “Horse’s Fountain” on Helicon.
47. Ariadne, daughter of Minos, king of Cnossos in Crete, had a golden crown set with gems; which at her death was set in the sky, and the gems became stars.
48. She gave Theseus a clue of thread to guide him out of the Labyrinth; Theseus deserted her, and Bacchus found and wedded her. Bacchus is said to have conquered India.
49. Pasiphaë, who was enamoured of a bull, and brought forth the Minotaur. [Dionysos was bull-horned].
50. See l. 715 note.

51. See above, 1. 146.
52. Iarbas was a suitor for Dido (Virgil, Aen. iv. 36, 196): Elissa was Dido’s name.
53. The Carthaginians came from Tyre.
54. Dido’s sister.
55. Malta.
56. Now Pantellaria, about 150 miles from Malta.
57. Brother of Dido and Anna, and their enemy.
58. Unknown.
59. Aeneas was son of Venus, called Cytherea for her sacred island Cythera.
60. A river in Latium; rivers are called horned, being personified as bulls.

61. He probably means Isis, who was identified with Io.
62. This refers to the Secession of the Plebs in 494 B.C.
63. This story seems told to account for the worship of Anna Perenna at Bovillae.
64. Minerva in this story has probably taken the place of Nerio, an old goddess, the wife of Mars.
65. The murder of Julius Caesar, 44 B.C., on the Ides of March.
66. Pontifex Maximus.
67. Semele, mother of Bacchus, requested Jupiter to show himself in full majesty. His lightning blasted her, and Jupiter caught up her unborn child, and sewed him into his own thigh, until the proper time for birth.
68. When Bacchus brought his rites to Thebes, the king, Pentheus, disbelieved him; and he was torn to pieces by his mother Agave and the bacchant women. Lycurgus, king of the Edonians, expelled Bacchus; he was driven mad, and killed his own son with an axe, in mistake for a vine: then lopped off his own extremities.
69. Bacchus was captured at sea by pirates; but he drove them mad, they leaped overboard, and became dolphins.
70. Silenus, the merry companion of the satyrs.

71. Liber pater.
72. Juno, who as Jupiter’s wife pursued Semele’s son with a stepmother’s hatred.
73. Toga virilis.
74. Bacchus.
75. Ceres (Demeter). The games are the Cerealia. April 19.
76. See v. 621.
77. The star is unknown; but the coming of the bird was a sign of spring. The Bear was supposed to be Callisto, daughter of Lycaon.
78. Quinquatrus, QVIN in the calendar, properly the name of one day, the fifth after the Ides; but it was commonly taken to mean a period of five days.
79. For gladiatorial shows.
80. Tychius is said to have invented shoe-making. Homer calls him the best of leather-cutters, Il. vii. 219-223.

81. Who made the Wooden Horse.
82. Minerva Medica.
83. The Quinquatrus was a holiday: the master on that day collected pennies from his boys, which it appears he had to hand over to Minerva. Ovid suggests that he boys might defraud their schoolmasters, (or, reading fraudante, exhorts the masters not to cheat the goddess of her little earnings).
84. He suggests that capta comes from caput, and adds that Minerva is capitalis, “tiptop.”
85. This is probably the right reason.
86. Tubilustrium.
87. Mars.
88. That is, entered the sign of the Ram. Athamas, king of Boeotia, had a son Phrixus and a daughter Helle. Their mother, Nephele, departed, and he married Ino. She plotted their death as described here.
89. Ino.
90. Nephele, “the cloud.”
91. Thebes.
92. Hellespont.