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7. Then Midas, king of Pessinus, wishing to withdraw the youth from so disgraceful an intimacy, resolves to give him his own daughter in marriage, and caused the gates of the town to be closed, that no one of evil omen might disturb their marriage joys. But the mother of the gods, knowing the fate of the youth, and that he would live among men in safety only so long as he was free from the ties of marriage, that no disaster might occur, enters the closed city, raising its walls with her head, which began to be crowned with towers in consequence. Acdestis, bursting with rage because of the boy’s being torn from himself, and brought to seek a wife, fills all the guests with frenzied madness:43214321    Lit., “fury and madness.” the Phrygians shriek aloud, panic-stricken at the appearance of the gods;43224322    The ms., first five edd., and Oberthür, read exterriti adorandorum Phryges; for which Ursinus suggested ad ora deorum—“at the faces of gods,” adopted by Oehler; the other edd. reading ad horam—“at the hour, i e., thereupon.” a daughter of adulterous43234323    It seems probable that part of this chapter has been lost, as we have no explanation of this epithet; and, moreover (as Oehler has well remarked) in c. 13 this Gallus is spoken of as though it had been previously mentioned that he too had mutilated himself, of which we have not the slightest hint. Gallus cuts off her breasts; Attis snatches the pipe borne by him who was goading them to frenzy; and he, too, now filled with furious passion, raving frantically and tossed about, throws himself down at last, and under a pine tree mutilates himself, saying, “Take these,43244324    i.e., genitalia. Acdestis, for which you have stirred up so great and terribly perilous commotions.”43254325    Lit., “so great motions of furious hazards.” With the streaming blood his life flies; but the Great Mother of the gods gathers the parts which had been cut off, and throws earth on them, having first covered them, and wrapped43264326    So most edd., reading veste prius tectis atque involutis for the ms. reading, retained by Hild. and Oehler, tecta atque involuta—“his vest being first drawn over and wrapt about them;” the former verb being found with this meaning in no other passage, and the second very rarely. them in the garment of the dead. From the blood which had flowed springs a flower, the violet, and with43274327    Lit., “from.” this the tree43284328    i.e., the pine. is girt. Thence the custom began and arose, whereby you even now veil and wreath with flowers the sacred pine. The virgin who had been the bride, whose name, as Valerius43294329    Nourry supposes that this may refer to M. Valerius Messala, a fragment from whom on auspices has been preserved by Gellius (xiii. 15); while Hild. thinks that Antias is meant, who is mentioned in c. 1. the pontifex relates, was Ia, veils the breast of the lifeless youth with soft wool, sheds tears with Acdestis, and slays herself. After her death her blood is changed into purple violets. The mother of the gods sheds tears also,43304330    So Orelli punctuates and explains; but it is doubtful whether, even if this reading be retained, it should not be translated, “bedewed these (violets).” The ms. reads, suffodit et as (probably has)—“digs under these,” emended as above in LB., suffudit et has. from which springs an almond tree, signifying the bitterness of death.43314331    Lit., “burial.” Then she bears away to her cave the pine tree, beneath which Attis had unmanned himself; and Acdestis joining in her wailings, she beats and wounds her breast, pacing round the trunk of the tree now at rest.43324332    So it has been attempted to render the ms., reading pausatæ circum arboris robur, which has perplexed the different edd. Heraldus proposed pausate—“at intervals round the trunk of the tree;” LB. reads -ata—“round…tree having rested.” Reading as above, the reference might be either to the rest from motion after being set up in the cave, or to the absence of wind there. Jupiter is begged by Acdestis that Attis may be restored to life: he does not permit it. What, however, fate allowed,43334333    Lit., “could be done through (i.e. as far as concerns) fate.” he readily grants, that his body should not decay, that his hairs should always grow, that the least of his fingers should live, and should be kept ever in motion; content with which favours, it is said that Acdestis consecrated the body in Pessinus, and honoured it with yearly rites and priestly services.43344334    So Oehler, reading sacerdotum antistitiis for the ms. antistibus, changed in both Roman edd. and Hild. to -stitibus—“with priests (or overseers) of priests.” Salmasius proposed intestibus—“with castrated priests.”

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