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Ovid XIII Chapter 9: 640-674 The transformation of Anius' daughters.
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Then virtuous Anchises said: 'O chosen priest of Phoebus, am I wrong, or do I not remember that you had a son and four daughters, when I first saw your city?' Shaking his head, bound with its white sacrificial fillets, Anius replied sadly: 'Mightiest of heroes, you are not wrong: you saw me the father of five children, whom now you see almost bereft. What is the use of my absent son [Note 1], who holds the island of Andros, that takes its name from him, and rules it in his father's place? Delian Apollo gave him the power of prophecy. Bacchus, Liber gave my female offspring other gifts, greater than those they hoped or prayed for. All that my daughter's touched turned into corn or wine or the grey-green olives of Minerva, and employing them was profitable. When Agamemnon, son of Atreus, ravager of Troy, learned of this (so that you do not think we escaped all knowledge of your destructive storm) he used armed force to snatch my unwilling daughters from a father's arms, and ordered them to feed the Greek fleet, using their gift from heaven. Each escaped where they could. Two made for Euboea, and two for their brother's island of Andros. The army landed and threatened war unless they were given up. Fear overcame brotherly affection, and he surrendered his blood-kin. It is possible to forgive the cowardly brother, since Aeneas and Hector, thanks to whom you held out till the tenth year, were not here to defend Andros. Now they were readying the chains for the prisoners' arms. They, while their arms were free, stretched them out to the sky, saying: "Bacchus, father, bring your aid!" and he, who granted their gifts, helped them if you call it help for them to lose in some strange way their human form, for I could not discover by what process they lost it, nor can I describe it. The end of this misfortune I did observe: they took wing, and became snow-white doves, the birds of your goddess-wife Anchises, Venus.' |
Note 1: Andros
Event: Aeneas visits Delos
tum pius Anchises: 'o Phoebi lecte sacerdos, |
fallor, an et natum, cum primum haec moenia vidi,
bisque duas natas, quantum reminiscor, habebas?'
huic Anius niveis circumdata tempora vittis
concutiens et tristis ait: 'non falleris, heros
maxime; vidisti natorum quinque parentem,
quem nunc (tanta homines rerum inconstantia versat)
paene vides orbum. quod enim mihi filius absens
auxilium, quem dicta suo de nomine tellus
Andros habet pro patre locumque et regna tenentem?
Delius augurium dedit huic, dedit altera Liber
femineae stirpi voto maiora fideque
munera: nam tactu natarum cuncta mearum
in segetem laticemque meri canaeque Minervae
transformabantur, divesque erat usus in illis.
hoc ubi cognovit Troiae populator Atrides,
(ne non ex aliqua vestram sensisse procellam
nos quoque parte putes), armorum viribus usus
abstrahit invitas gremio genitoris alantque
imperat Argolicam caelesti munere classem.
effugiunt, quo quaeque potest: Euboea duabus
et totidem natis Andros fraterna petita est.
miles adest et, ni dedantur, bella minatur:
victa metu pietas consortia corpora poenae
dedidit; et timido possis ignoscere fratri:
non hic Aeneas, non, qui defenderet Andron,
Hector erat, per quem decimum durastis in annum.
iamque parabantur captivis vincla lacertis:
illae tollentes etiamnum libera caelo
bracchia "Bacche pater, fer opem!" dixere, tulitque
muneris auctor opem,Ęsi miro perdere more
ferre vocatur opem, nec qua ratione figuram
perdiderint, potui scire aut nunc dicere possum;
summa mali nota est: pennas sumpsere tuaeque
coniugis in volucres, niveas abiere columbas.'