aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Cato, On Farming 141.2-3

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The language of the prayer is rather archaic, so I have indulged myself a little to convey that in the translation.

Ianum Iovemque vino praefamino, sic dicito, ‘Mars pater, te precor quaesoque uti sies volens propitius mihi domo familiaeque nostrae, quoius re ergo agrum terram fundumque meum suovitaurilia circumagi iussi, uti tu morbos visos invisosque, viduertatem vastitudinemque, calamitates intemperiasque prohibessis defendas averruncesque; utique tu fruges, frumenta, vineta virgultaque grandire beneque evenire siris, pastores pecuaque salva servassis duisque bonam salutem valetudinemque mihi domo familiaeque nostrae; harumce rerum ergo, fundi terrae agrique mei lustrandi lustrique faciendi ergo, sicuti dixi, macte hisce suovitaurilibus lactentibus inmolandis esto; Mars pater, eiusdem rei ergo macte hisce suovitaurilibus lactentibus esto.’

After first praying to Janus and Jupiter with wine, say this: ‘Father Mars, I pray and beseech thee, that thou be gracious and propitious toward me, my house and my household, wherefore have I bidden this sacrifice of pig, sheep and bull to be led around my land, ground and farm; that thou prevent, ward off and avert sicknesses seen and unseen, dearth and ruin, calamities and inclemencies; and that thou permit harvests, grain, vineyards and shrubberies to grow and come forth; preserve in safety my shepherds and flocks; and grant good health and strength to me, my house and household. For which intent, for the intent of purifying my farm, ground and land, and of making expiation, like as I said, be thou glorified by the offering up these suckling victims; Father Mars, to that same intent be thou glorified by the offering up these suckling victims.’

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Cato

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