Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mezentius et Orodes

ille autem exspirans: 'non me, quicumque es, inulto,
victor, nec longum laetabere; te quoque fata
prospectant paria atque eadem mox arva tenebis.'
ad quem subridens mixta Mezentius ira:
'nunc morere. ast de me divum pater atque hominum rex
viderit.' hoc dicens eduxit corpore telum.
olli dura quies oculos et ferreus urget
somnus, in aeternam clauduntur lumina noctem.

But as Orodes lay dying, he said: ‘Whoever you are that have conquered me, I shal be revenged. You will not enjoy your victory for long. A similar fate awaits you too and soon you will hold these same fields.’ Mezentius, sneering and churned up with anger, said to him: ‘Now die. But as for me let the father of the gods and the king of men see to it.’ Saying this he pulled the weapon from his body. A dreadful rest and an iron sleep pressed on his eyes, his eyes were closed in eternal night.
(Aeneid X.739ff.)

Then Patroclus said: ‘Yes, make your great boasts now, Hector. You were given the victory by Zeus, the son of Chronos, and Apollo – it was they who overpowered me with ease…I tell you another thing and mark it well in your mind. You yourself, you too will not live long, but already now death and strong fate are standing close beside you, to bring you down at the hands of Achilles.’
(Iliad XVI.852ff.)

Then god-like Achilles spoke to Hector, dead though he was: ‘Die! I shall take my death at whatever time Zeus and the other immortal gods wish to bring it on me.’ So he spoke and pulled his bronze spear out of the body.
(Iliad XXII.359ff.)

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