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M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 5, line 1 (search)
r on people and on kings
Honours well earned-Rhodes, Mistress of the Seas,
Was decked with gifts; Athena, old in fame,
Received her praise, and the rude tribes who dwell
On cold Taygetus; Massilia's sons
Their own Phocaea's freedom; on the chiefs
Of Thracian tribes, fit honours were bestowed.
They order Libya by their high decree
To serve King Juba's sceptre; and, alas!
On Ptolemaeus, of a faithless race
The faithless sovereign, scandal to the gods,
And shame to Fortune, placed the diadem
Of Pella. Boy! against the common herd
Fierce is thy weapon. Ah, if that were all!
The fatal gift gave, too, Pompeius' life;
Bereft thy sister of her sire's bequest,By the will of Ptolemy Auletes, Cleopatra had been appointed joint sovereign of Egypt with her young brother. Lucan means that Caesar would have killed Pompeius if young Ptolemy had not done so. She lost her share of the kingdom, and Caesar was clear of the crime.
Half of the kingdom: Caesar of a crime.
Then all to arms. While soldier th
M. Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia (ed. Sir Edward Ridley), book 10, line 1 (search)
when he won the world
His empire with him took, nor left an heir.
Thus every city to the spoiler's hand
Was victim made. Yet in his fall was his
Babylon; and Parthia feared him. Shame on us
That Eastern nations dreaded more the lance
Of Macedon than now the Roman spear.
True that we rule beyond where takes its rise
The burning southern breeze, beyond the homes
Of western winds, and to the northern star;
But towards the rising of the sun, we yield
To him who kept the Arsacids in awe;
And puny Pella held as province sure
The Parthia fatal to our Roman arms.
Now from the stream Pelusian of the Nile,
Was come the boyish king, taming the rage
Of his effeminate people: pledge of peace;
And Caesar safely trod Pellean halls;
When Cleopatra bribed her guard to break
The harbour chains, and borne in little boat
Within the Macedonian palace gates,
Caesar unknowing, entered: Egypt's shame;
Fury of Latium; to the bane of Rome
Unchaste. For as the Spartan queen of yore
By fatal beauty Argos urged t