Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Orphic Hymn to Themis


ILLUSTRIOUS Themis, of celestial birth,
Thee I invoke, young blossom of the earth;
Beauteous-eyed virgin; first from thee alone,
Prophetic oracles to men were known,
Giv'n from the deep recesses of the fane
In sacred Pytho, where renown'd you reign;
From thee, Apollo's oracles arose,
And from thy pow'r his inspiration flows.
Honour'd by all, of form divinely bright,
Majestic virgin, wand'ring in the night:
Mankind from thee first learnt initial rites,
And Bacchus' nightly choirs thy soul delights;
For holy honours to disclose is thine,
With all the culture of the pow'rs divine.
Be present, Goddess, to my pray'r inclin'd,
And bless the mystic rites with fav'ring mind.

Divae Iuritis

Coeligena huc Iuritis ades patrima virago,
Muustea progenies telluris, Caesia dia,
Vaticinas quae prima aperis mortalibus fortes
Delporum Diis pro cortina oracula fatans
Puticulis ubi Puteolis regina cluebas,
Et Februo fandi donasti pectus habere
Augusta speciosa verendaque notctuvolga.
Priam etenim ritus hominum genus edocuisti
Nocturnis sacris Brumum fanatica ovando
Ex te enim castusque Deum cultusque verendi.
Huc adsis, huc Diva faventi numine blanda
Ad divina tui veneranda silentia sacri.

According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Themis was a daughter of Uranus and Ge, and was married to Zeus, by whom she became the mother of the Horae, Eunomia, Dice (Astraea), Eirene, and the Moerae. (Theog. 135, 901, ff.) Themis is personified in the Homeric hymns as the order of things, whether established by law, custom, or equity. In Homer's Odyssey, she is portrayed as regnant among the assemblies of men (e.g., Odyssey. ii. 68). Additionally, in Homer's Illiad, she convenes, pursuant to Zeus's command, the assembly of the gods. (Illiad. xx. 4.) Themis is a citizen of Olympus, and has a good relationship with Hera. (Illiad, xv. 87.) She is often shown holding a pair of scales. Themis is the source of our popular depiction of Lady Justice.

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