The Austriad. A Renaissance Latin Epic for Emperor Maximilian I (Monographie)

Allgemeine Angaben


John Butcher

Nuova Prhomos
Città di Castello (Italien)
Biblioteca del Centro Studi “Mario Pancrazi” - Testi 14
Weiterführender Link
Art der Publikation
ISBN 978-88-6853-742-5
Thematik nach Sprachen




Note on the Latin Text, the English Translation and the Annotations


Liber I
Liber II
Liber III
Liber IV
Liber V
Liber VI
Liber VII
Liber VIII
Liber IX
Liber X
Liber XI
Liber XII

Book I – Ruprecht journeys to the shrine of Ulysses by the Ocean
Book II – Maximilian slays a monstrous Alpine bear
Book III – The fall of Constantinople, sung by the minstrel Enypheus
Book IV – Maximilian battles first with the Danube, then with Oebalus
Book V – The exploits of Albert and a duel between Maximilian and Ruprecht
Book VI – The deeds of Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, with his siege of Maulbronn Abbey
Book VII – The furious exploits of William, Landgrave of Hesse, and his naval warfare on the Rhine
Book VIII – The wet-nurse Leucippe tells of her dream, including a universal cosmology
Book IX – Actions of the citizens of Nuremberg
Book X – Death of Ruprecht and family and the decisive clash with the Bohemians near Regensburg
Book XI – Women from Prague obtain the burial of their men, Maximilian captures Kufstein in Tyrol
Book XII – Maximilian triumphs in Cologne, where seven different funeral games are held


From Book I – Ruprecht journeys to the shrine of Ulysses by the Ocean (verses 1-88, here without annotations):

Caesar’s battle-arrays, northern kingdoms and magnanimous
Dukes I do sing, the source of the double-named Danube
And the spacious Rhine foaming with its Helvetian head,
Staining the plains with the slaughter of men and their dismal flood.
A great work I set my hand to, since the crushing blows of savage Mars
And peoples subdued by war, the wrath of Pallas
And Bohemians fighting under a sworn treaty
My mind muses upon. Who will awaken Parnassus and lively
Cirrha? Does a similar urge dare to slip into mortal souls
And not yield before such awe-inspiring deeds?
Now it would suffice to summon Phoebus from the Amphrysus or Patara,
If I wished the wars of the Cimbrians, the tumults of the Senones,
Roman arms subjugated by Teutonic fury,
The unstoppable Goths, Vandals wet with
Latin gore, pillaged cities and the furious Heruli
To recollect one day and to shield from a wordless future.
Yet, since inspiration with Pierian passion stirs me,
Together with an immense love of writing and recounting the mighty feats
Of Caesar, may this man himself, crowning his temples with a laurel wreath,
Be my deity and we shall venture as one into the bowers of Cynthus.
Fruitless it would be to disturb Bacchus amidst his oriental groves.
A time will come when I shall sing the wars in which horrid Bactra,
Trusting in its poisoned arrows, will give way,
As well as the inhabitants of Carmania, the threatening Syrians, burnt Libya
And the open expanses of the Ethiopians; when under Caesar a victorious
Army will cross all the way to the sunburnt Indians;
When the defeated Arab will flee, the timid Sabaeans
Will turn their backs and great Taprobane, cut off from the rest of the world,
Will quail; when a conquered Lake Maeotis will discern
German standards triumphing in glory over the Black Sea.
Yet, now I turn to a new military enterprise and to a squabble born
From the impious enmity of gods, such as to confound noble cities.
From here I shall begin my rhapsody, setting out the matter in its earliest phases.
Once the Norican land had been handed over to the unbiased
Jurisdiction of Caesar, in order that with righteous laws the doubtful kingdom
– For supreme power sits ill with a shared sceptre,
Nor does it accord two to rule – might be decided upon,
As soon as Caesar decreed that one of the two, impatient over his decision,
Should leave the land unjustly occupied and the fields received in dowry,
The rumour flew swiftly to the attentive ears
Of the descendants of the Boii, reckless desire for power
Swelled up and a people atrocious in war raged in its very soul.
Meanwhile, in her four-horse chariot ringing with armour Bellona,
Surveying the world, rested her gaze upon those northern lands.
Hereupon she said to herself: “Shall Germany know not my
Mightiness? Or instead shall I, once and for all avenging minds haughty in their rule,
Witness the Danube, the Wertach, the Inn and the Lech
Swimming with dead bodies and the Rhine spewing blood?
It is my doing that the descendants of Dardanus and Ilium lie devastated, the great
Empire of Asia and guilty Thebes collapse from their summit.
I at Emathian Philippi, drenched in gore,
Filled the killing fields with the limbs of Roman citizens.
Why now should I recall Thermopylae, the arms of Marathon
And the flight of Xerxes? Why Carrhae stained
With Hesperian blood and banners timorous of the swift Parthian?
To have provoked King Feletheus into a mighty campaign
Against a successful Odoacer is but little indeed; nor the Saxon at last
Tamed in the tenth triennium by the hardy Franks
I would deem satisfying, not to mention the Huns annihilated.
Something greater pertaining to towering Mars my wild soul
Now sets in motion and battle and massacre to delay further
Or to put off would be wrong. The future of the cruel hostilities
In his council Albert pursues. From everywhere the landgrave
Calls forth people and the wild Bussactores, taking up arms,
Sharpen their unholy minds to upcoming strife.
Observe how sublime the hero from Württemberg sallies forth
And how many auxiliary troops he brings with him”.
Thus did she speak and Battle from the abyss of black Orcus
She did entice out. It was joined by sad Erinys as its slave.
Then to the gold-bearing banks of the Rhine she rapidly slips off
And travels revelling through the cities of the Palatinate,
Spreading far and wide the sweltering heat of battle and anger.
Just as in Actaean groves with an alternating torch
The priestess, driven by the festival of Ceres, goes to and fro
Or when on the banks of the Ismenos and of the icy Aganippe
Ogygian votaries of Bacchus celebrate their triennial festival,
Around Bellona Eumenides – swarming horridly with pine-torches
Fit for a pyre – toss airwards their snaky locks,
Weigh on minds and impel with their fury
Those blinded by the desire to rule, as the fires of immense war
They incite, adding force, conjuring up audacious
Battle courage and turning souls to conflict.
Forthwith, in astonished breasts sparks passion;
Fury, impatient of any delay, slinks in. Ambitious hunger
For power, implacable love of arms
Swells, in allied kingdoms potent disagreement.
Now with an alert guard cities and towns everywhere
Are girded and leaders crave for their swords.



Ersteller des Eintrags
John Butcher
Samstag, 03. Februar 2024, 21:24 Uhr
Letzte Änderung
Sonntag, 04. Februar 2024, 20:39 Uhr