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Early Indo-European Texts

Latin

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Latin with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Latin Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Latin language and its speakers' culture.

from Ennius' Annals, Sections 80-100

Curantes magna cum cura tum cupientes
Regni dant operam simul auspicio augurioque;
..........in monte..........
Remus auspicio se devovet atque secundam
solus avem servat. At Romulus pulcher in alto
quaerit Aventino, servat genus altivolentum.
Certabant urbem Romam Remoramve vocarent.
Omnibus cura viris uter esset induperator:
exspectant, veluti consul quom mittere signum
volt, omnes avidi spectant ad carceris oras
quam mox emittat pictis e faucibus currus.
sic exspectabat populus atque ora tenebat,
rebus utri magni victoria sit data regni.
Interea sol albus recessit in infera noctis.
Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.
et simul ex alto longe pulcherruma praepes
laeva volavit avis, simul aureus exoritur sol.
Cedunt de caelo ter quattuor corpora sancta
avium, praepetibus sese pulchrisque locis dant.
Conspicit inde sibi data Romulus esse propritim
auspicio regni stabilita scamna solumque.

Translation

Then with very great care and desiring the supreme power, they turn their attention at the same time to watching and to divination by the flight of birds ... on a hill. Remus devotes himself to the auspices and by himself looks for a favorable bird. But handsome Romulus searches on high Aventine, and looks for the high-flying kind. They contested whether they would call the city Rome or Remora. There is anxiety among all the men to see which of the two would be supreme chief. They are expectant, as when the consul will give the signal, and all look eagerly at the boundaries of the area to see how soon he will send out the chariots from the painted jaws. So the people were waiting and holding their tongues, looking forward to see to which of the two the victory of great authority would be given by the events. In the meantime the white sun has gone down to the depths of night. Then the clear light thrust out with its rays; and at the same time from far on high a most beautiful prophet of a bird flew at the left, at the same time as the gold sun rose. Three or four holy birds fly down from the heavens, and establish themselves on places that are auspicious and beautiful. From that Romulus sees that the established seat and throne of supreme power have been given to him as his own.