aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Ovid, Halieutica 1-6

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The 130 lines of this poem survive in a rather corrupt form, and the work may not be by Ovid. Here is the opening of the text as it stands, although it is likely that this is not the original opening, and the meaning of these first lines is not clear.

accepit mundus legem: dedit arma per omnes
admonuitque sui: vitulus sic namque minatur,
qui nondum gerit in tenera iam cornua fronte;
sic dammae fugiunt, pugnant virtute leones
et morsu canis et caudae sic scorpius ictu,
concussisque levis pennis sic evolat ales.

The world has accepted a law. It has given weapons for every creature and has reminded every one of itself. For in this way does the calf make threats even though it does not yet bear horns on its tender forehead; in this way do the deer flee; lions fight with courage, the dog with its bite, the scorpion with a strike of its tail; and the light bird flies away with beats of its wings.

Written by aleatorclassicus

December 30, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Ovid

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