Monday, February 22, 2010

Mezentius - velut aper

ac velut ille canum morsu de montibus altis
actus aper, multos Vesulus quem pinifer annos
defendit multosque palus Laurentia silva
pascit harundinea, postquam inter retia ventum est,
substitit infremuitque ferox et inhorruit armos,
nec cuiquam irasci propiusve accedere virtus,
sed iaculis tutisque procul clamoribus instant;
ille autem impavidus partis cunctatur in omnis
dentibus infrendens et tergo decutit hastas:

But Mezentius is just like that boar driven down from the high mountains by the bite of dogs, whom pine-bearing Mt Vesulus has guarded for many years, and whom the Laurentian marsh has long nourished in its reedy forest, after he has come in amongst the nets, he stops and roars ferociously and his shoulders bristle, and no one has the courage to attack him in anger nor to approach any nearer, but they press upon him with javelins and with shouts from far away in safety; but he fearlessly holds them back on all sides, gnashing with his teeth, and he shakes the spears from his back.
(Aeneid X.707ff.)

As when hounds and strong young huntsmen are crowding a boar, and he comes at them out of a dense thicket, whetting his white tusks in the angle of his jaws: as they run to surround him there comes a gnashing of his tusks, but for all his fearsomeness they stand firm before him. In the same way the Trojans came crowding round Odysseus.
(Iliad XI.414ff.)

Idomeneus stood his ground against Aeneas, like a boar in the mountains, sure of his power, who faces a great rabble of men coming against him in a solitary place, and bristles the ridge of his back: his eyes flash with fire, and he whets his tusks, ready to beat off dogs and men.
(Iliad XIII.471ff.)

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