Fall 2003, Week Seven
'Pace data terris animum ad civilia vertet
Vix ea fatus erat, medi cum sede senatus
When the world is at peace, he will turn his mind to the civil code, and, as the most just of legislators, make law. He will direct morality by his own example, and, looking to the future ages and coming generations, he will order a son, Tiberius, born of his virtuous wife, to take his name, and his responsibilities. He will not attain his heavenly home, and the stars, his kindred, until he is old, and his years equal his merits. Meanwhile take up Caesar's spirit from his murdered corpse, and change it into a star, so that the deified Julius may always look down from his high temple on our Capitol and forum.'
He had barely finished, when gentle Venus stood in the midst of the senate, seen by no one, and took up the newly freed spirit of her Caesar from his body, and preventing it from vanishing into the air, carried it towards the glorious stars. As she carried it, she felt it glow and take fire, and loosed it from her breast: it climbed higher than the moon, and drawing behind it a fiery tail, shone as a star.Seeing his son's good works, Caesar acknowledges they are greater than his own, and delights in being surpassed by him. Though the son forbids his own actions being honoured above his father's, nevertheless fame, free and obedient to no one's orders, exalts him, despite himself, and denies him in this one thing. So great Atreus cedes the title to Agamemnon: so Theseus outdoes Aegeus, and Achilles his father Peleus: and lastly, to quote an example worthy of these two, so Saturn is less than Jove.
Jupiter commands the heavenly citadels, and the kingdoms of the threefold universe. Earth is ruled by Augustus. Each is a father and a master. You gods, the friends of Aeneas, to whom fire and sword gave way; you deities of Italy; and Romulus, founder of our city; and Mars, father of Romulus; Vesta, Diana, sacred among Caesar's ancestral gods, and you, Phoebus, sharing the temple with Caesar's Vesta; you, Jupiter who hold the high Tarpeian citadel; and all you other gods, whom it is fitting and holy for a poet to invoke, I beg that the day be slow to arrive, and beyond our own lifetime, when Augustus shall rise to heaven, leaving the world he rules, and there, far off, shall listen, with favour, to our prayers!