Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Turullius and the Grove of Asclepius

Valerius Maximus 1.1.19 (tr. Henry J. Walker):
Apollo's son, Aesculapius, was just as effective in avenging himself when his cult was insulted. Turullius, Antony's prefect, cut down a large part of a sacred grove belonging to his temple in order to build ships for Antony. While Turullius was performing this wicked task, Antony's forces were utterly defeated. Augustus commanded that Turullius be put to death, and the god revealed his divine powers by having him dragged into the very place he had desecrated. The god made sure that Augustus' soldiers killed him there rather than anywhere else. By his death, Turullius paid the penalty for those trees he had already cut down and guaranteed that the trees still standing would be protected from such a violation. The god thereby increased the extraordinary devotion that his worshippers had always felt for him.

nec minus efficax ultor contemptae religionis filius quoque eius Aesculapius, qui (consecratum templo suo lucum a Turullio praefecto Antonii ad naves ei faciendas magna ex parte succisum dolens) inter ipsum nefarium ministerium, devictis partibus Antonii, imperio Caesaris morti destinatum Turullium manifestis numinis sui viribus in eum locum, quem violaverat, traxit effecitque ut ibi potissimum a militibus Caesarianis occisus eodem exitio et eversis iam arboribus poenas lueret et adhuc superantibus inmunitatem consimilis iniuriae pareret suamque venerationem, quam apud colentes maximam semper habuerat, deus multiplicavit.
Cassius Dio 51.8.3 (tr. Earnest Cary):
Caesar put Turullius to death (it chanced that this man had cut wood for the fleet from the grove of Aesculapius in Cos, and since he was executed in Cos, he was thought to be making amends to the god as well as to Caesar), but this time also he gave no answer to Antony.

Καῖσαρ δὲ τὸν μὲν Τουρούλλιον ἀπέκτεινε (καὶ ἔτυχε γὰρ ἐκ τῆς ἐν Κῷ τοῦ Ἀσκληπιοῦ ὕλης ξύλα ἐς ναυτικὸν κεκοφώς, δίκην τινὰ καὶ τῷ θεῷ, ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐδικαιώθη, δοῦναι ἔδοξε), τῷ δ´ Ἀντωνίῳ οὐδὲν οὐδὲ τότε ἀπεκρίνατο.
Lactantius, Divine Institutes 2.8 (tr. William Fletcher):
Turullius also, the lietenant of Mark Antony, when he had cut down a grove of Aesculapius in Cos, and built a fleet, was afterwards slain at the same place by the soldiers of Caesar.

praefectus etiam M. Antonii Turullius, cum apud Coos everso Aesculapii luco classem fecisset, eodem postea loco a militibus Caesaris interfectus est.
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