aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Statius, Thebaid 2.489-495

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A big group of Eteocles’ men ambush Tydeus at night, which is definitely Just Not Cricket.

o caeca nocentum
consilia! o semper timidum scelus! exit in unum
plebs ferro iurata caput. ceu castra subire
apparet aut celsum crebri arietis ictibus urbis
inclinare latus: densi sic agmine facto
quinquaginta altis funduntur in ordine portis.
macte animi, tantis dignus qui crederis armis!

O blind counsels of the guilty! O ever-cowardly crime! The common folk, sworn by the sword, go out against a single man. It is as though they are stealing upon a camp, or bringing down the lofty flank of a city with blows from a solid battering-ram: in the same way do fifty men in a close-packed column pour through the high gates in order. Much respect to your courage, Tydeus – you who are believed worthy of such troops!

Tydeus manages to kill 49 of the 50 men though!

Written by aleatorclassicus

October 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Statius

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