Monday, June 20, 2016



Ammianus Marcellinus 14.11.25-26 (tr. John C. Rolfe):
[25] These and innumerable other instances of the kind are sometimes (and would that it were always so!) the work of Adrastia, the chastiser of evil deeds and the rewarder of good actions, whom we also call by the second name of Nemesis. She is, as it were, the sublime jurisdiction of an efficient divine power, dwelling, as men think, above the orbit of the moon; or as others define her, an actual guardian presiding with universal sway over the destinies of individual men. The ancient theologians, regarding her as the daughter of Justice, say that from an unknown eternity she looks down upon all the creatures of earth.

[26] She, as queen of causes and arbiter and judge of events, controls the urn with its lots and causes the changes of fortune, and sometimes she gives our plans a different result than that at which we aimed, changing and confounding many actions. She too, binding the vainly swelling pride of mortals with the indissoluble bond of fate, and tilting changeably, as she knows how to do, the balance of gain and loss, now bends and weakens the uplifted necks of the proud, and now, raising the good from the lowest estate, lifts them to a happy life. Moreover, the storied past has given her wings in order that she might be thought to come to all with swift speed; and it has given her a helm to hold and has put a wheel beneath her feet, in order that none may fail to know that she runs through all the elements and rules the universe.

[25] Haec et huius modi quaedam innumerabilia ultrix facinorum impiorum, bonorumque praemiatrix, aliquotiens operatur Adrastia, (atque utinam semper!): quam vocabulo duplici etiam Nemesim appellamus: ius quoddam sublime numinis efficacis, humanarum mentium opinione lunari circulo superpositum, vel ut definiunt alii, substantialis tutela generali potentia partilibus praesidens fatis, quam theologi veteres fingentes Iustitiae filiam, ex abdita quadam aeternitate tradunt omnia despectare terrena.

[26] Haec ut regina causarum, et arbitra rerum ac disceptatrix, urnam sortium temperat, accidentium vices alternans, voluntatumque nostrarum exorsa interdum alio quam quo contendebant exitu terminans, multiplices actus permutando convolvit. Eademque necessitatis insolubili retinaculo mortalitatis vinciens fastus, tumentes in cassum, et incrementorum detrimentorumque momenta versabilis librans (ut novit), nunc erectas eminentium cervices opprimit et enervat, nunc bonos ab imo suscitans ad bene vivendum extollit. Pinnas autem ideo illi fabulosa vetustas aptavit, ut adesse velocitate volucri cunctis existimetur, et praetendere gubernaculum dedit, eique subdidit rotam, ut universitatem regere per elementa discurrens omnia non ignoretur.
Text and translation come from the Digital Loeb Classical Library, except that I corrected crunctis in the last sentence to cunctis. Here is a screen capture of the error:

The physical book (I checked the 1935 edition, p. 104, but not later impressions) doesn't have this misprint.


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