ONLY-Begotten, noble race of Jove,
Blessed and fierce, who joy'st in caves to rove: 2
O, warlike Pallas, whose illustrious kind,
Ineffable and effable we find:
Magnanimous and fam'd, the rocky height, 5
And groves, and shady mountains thee delight:
In arms rejoicing, who with Furies dire
And wild, the souls of mortals dost inspire.
Gymnastic virgin of terrific mind,
Dire Gorgons bane, unmarried, blessed, kind: 10
Mother of arts, imperious; understood,
Rage to the wicked., wisdom to the good:
Female and male, the arts of war are thine,
Fanatic, much-form'd dragoness, divine: 14
O'er the Phlegrean giants rous'd to ire, 15 15
Thy coursers driving, with destruction dire.
Sprung from the head of Jove, of splendid mien,
Purger of evils, all-victorious queen.
Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray,
With supplicating voice both night and day, 20
And in my latest hour, peace and health,
Propitious times, and necessary wealth,
And, ever present, be thy vot'ries aid,
O, much implor'd, art's parent, blue eyed maid.
156:2 XXXI. Ver. 2.] Who joy'st in caves to rove. Proclus, in Plat. Theol, P. 372. informs us, that there are three zoogonic or vivific p. 157 monads, Diana, Proserpine, and Minerva; and that these three divinities exist together. Hence the reason is obvious why this Goddess is celebrated as living in caves, and delighting in rocks and mountains, from her agreement with Diana: and hence is appears, that Rutikenius was mistaken in imagining these epithets were misplaced. We may likewise see the reason from hence, why Minerva is called, in line 14, Female and Male, as well as the Moon; and why the Moon is called in the Hymn to her πάνσοφε κύρη, i. e. "all-wife virgin."
157:14 Ver. 14.] Much-form'd dragoness. It is easy to perceive the
agreement between Minerva, who is the same with divine
Wisdom and Providence, and a Dragon; since according to
Phurnutus, a dragon is of a vigilant and guardian nature.
157:15 Ver. 15.] O'er the Phlegrean giants, &c. The fable of the giants is common; but its philosophical explanation is, I fear, but little known and less understood. For the sake of thc liberal, therefore, the following account of the battles of the Gods, p. 158 from the excellent Commentary of Proclus, on Plato's Republic, p. 373, is inserted. "The divisible progressions of all beings, and the diversities of substances, receive a supernal origin, from a division of unknown primitive causes, which are mutually at strife with principles, subject to the universe. For some determine their essence about unity, on which they depend; and others receive in themselves a never-failing power of infinity, by which they generate universals, and a cause of multitude and progression, according to which they possess their peculiar essences. Hence, after the same manner as the first principles of beings, are mutually separated from each other; so all divine genera and true beings have among themselves a progression distinguished by order. In consequence of this, some insert in things posterior the principle cause of unity; but others afford the power of separation. Some are the causes of conversion to inferiors, and of collecting the multitude of progressive natures to their proper principles: while others promote their progression and procreation, emanating from principles, as their source. Some supply the power of generating to inferiors; and others exhibit a constant and undefiled purity. There are some, again, containing the cause of separable goods; and others, of such goods as subsist together with their recipients. Indeed, after this manner, the various contrariety of such kinds appears in all the administrations of true being. Thus the station or quiet of things constantly establishing being in themselves, resists efficacious and vital powers of motion. So the communication of identity, on every side similar to itself (if the expression may be allowed) is specially opposed to the discretions of diversity. Thus, too, similitude fights with dissimilitude, and equality with inequality. Since this is the case, can it be wonderful, that mythologists, perceiving a contrariety of this kind among the Gods, and the first principles p. 159 of things, should represent it to their pupils by contentions and wars? For though the divine genera are always united with each other, yet they preside as well over those who administer to union, as over those who machinate confusion. And this is the first reason of the wars of the Gods. But it is lawful to produce another reason, and to affirm that the Gods are indeed indivisibly conjoined, and subsist together in mutual uniformity: but that their progressions into the universe, and participations by recipient natures, become disjoined and divisible, and by this means filled with contrariety. For things subject to the power of the Gods, cannot receive their diffused powers, and multiform illustrations, without mixture and confusion. Hence the last orders dependent on the Gods, since they are produced by a long interval from the first causes, but are contiguous to the concerns they administer, and adhere to matter, contract contrariety, and an all-various division; partially presiding over material affairs, and diminishing and dispersing those separate powers, which before subsisted in a superior manner, uniformly and indivisibly, in their primitive causes. Since, then, such and so many are the ways, by which, according to the mysteries of theologists, war is usually referred to the Gods; other poets who, seized with fury, have interpreted divine concerns, introduced the battles and wars of the Gods, according to the first reasons, i. e. so far as the divine genera admit of diversity, according to the first principles of all things. For fables, concealing truth under a veil, shew that such things as recall to principles, oppose and fight with the authors of generation: collecting with separating natures, things unifying with such as multiply by the progression of beings; and universal genera, with such as operate in a partial and particular manner. Hence they relate, that the Titans (or dæmons subservient to Nature) fight with Bacchus, (or Nature) and the giants with Jove. p. 160 For union, and an indivisible work, is proper to Bacchus and Jupiter, as the demiurgic causes of the world; but the Titans and Giants produce the demiurgic powers into multitude; partially administering the concerns of the universe, and existing as the proximate parents of material natures." Thus far Proclus. For a farther account of Minerva, see the note to Hymn ix. to Nature.