Another text about the taurobolium

There seem to be a lot of little poems, all very late, often of great interest for sidelights on ancient paganism.  Here’s an extract from another.

The anonymous Carmen adversus paganos (394 AD), vv.57-62.

Quis tibi taurobolus vestem mutare suasit,
Inflatus dives, subito mendicus ut esses?
Obsitus et pannis, modica stipe factus epacta
Sub terram missus, pollutus sangine tauri,
Sordidus, infestus, vestes servare cruentas,
Vivere num speras viginti mundus in annos?


Who got you to put on the Taurbolium garment,
A puffed-up rich man, so that you might become suddenly a beggar?
And covered with rags, a short epact (?) having been made with a small offering,
Placed under the earth, polluted with the blood of a bull,
Dirty, stained, preserving the stained garments,
Do you really hope to live pure for 20 years?

I don’t understand modica epacta, tho.


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