Monday, February 08, 2021


Defending the Borders

Catullus 61.71-75 (my translation):
A land that lacks your sacred rites cannot supply guards for its borders. But it can if you are willing. Who would dare to be matched with this god?

quae tuis careat sacris,
non queat dare praesides
terra finibus: at queat
te volente. quis huic deo
compararier ausit?
The god is Hymen, the god of marriage.

C.J. Fordyce on line 72:
praesides: the sense of 'defender', which is normal in praesidium, is rare in praeses: but cf. Cic. Sest. 137 'senatum rei publicae custodem praesidem propugnatorem', Livy vi.16.2 'uestrum (i.e. deorum) militem ac praesidem ', xxiii.48.7 'praesides prouinciarum exercitus'.

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