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21. Jupiter is troubled enough, being overwhelmed with fear, and cannot find means to soothe the rage of his violated mother. He pours forth prayers, and makes supplication; her ears are closed by grief. The whole order of the gods is sent to seek his pardon; no one has weight enough to win a hearing. At last, the son seeking how to make satisfaction, devises this means: Arietem nobilem bene grandibus cum testiculis deligit, exsecat hos ipse et lanato exuit ex folliculi tegmine. Approaching his mother sadly and with downcast looks, and as if by his own decision he had condemned himself, he casts and throws these43984398    i.e., testiculi. into her bosom. When she saw what his pledge was,43994399    Virilitate pignoris visa. she is somewhat softened, and allows herself to be recalled to the care of the offspring which she had conceived.44004400    So Ursinus suggested, followed by Stewechius and later edd., concepti fœtus revocatur ad curam; the ms. reads concepit—“is softened and conceived,” etc. After the tenth month she bears a daughter, of beautiful form, whom later ages have called now Libera, now Proserpine; whom when Jupiter Verveceus44014401    Jupiter may be here called Verveceus, either as an epithet of Jupiter Ammon—“like a wether,” or (and this seems most probable from the context), “dealing with wethers,” referring to the mode in which he had extricated himself from his former difficulty, or “stupid.” The ms. reads virviriceus. saw to be strong, plump, and blooming, forgetting what evils and what wickedness, and how great recklessness, he had a little before fallen into,44024402    Lit., “encountered”—aggressus. he returns to his former practices; and because it seemed too44034403    Lit., “sufficiently.” wicked that a father openly be joined as in marriage with his daughter, he passes into the terrible form of a dragon: he winds his huge coils round the terrified maiden, and under a fierce appearance sports and caresses her in softest embraces. She, too, is in consequence filled with the seed of the most powerful Jupiter, but not as her mother was, for she44044404    i.e., Ceres. bore a daughter like herself; but from the maiden was born something like a bull, to testify to her seduction by Jupiter. If any one asks44054405    Lit., “will any one want.” who narrates this, then we shall quote the well-known senarian verse of a Tarentine poet which antiquity sings,44064406    i.e., handed down by antiquity. [Vol. ii. p. 176, this series.] saying: “The bull begot a dragon, and the dragon a bull.” Lastly, the sacred rites themselves, and the ceremony of initiation even, named Sebadia,44074407    These seem to have been celebrated in honour of Dionysius as well as Zeus, though, in so far as they are described by Arnobius, they refer to the intrigue of the latter only. Macrobius, however (Saturn., i. 18), mentions that in Thrace, Liber and Sol were identified and worshipped as Sebadius: and this suggests that we have to take but one more step to explain the use of the title to Jupiter also. might attest the truth; for in them a golden snake is let down into the bosom of the initiated, and taken away again from the lower parts.


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