De Lingua Latina

M. Terentius Varro

In Foro Lacum Curtium a Curtio dictum constat, et de eo triceps historia: nam et Procilius non idem prodidit quod Piso, nec quod is Cornelius secutus. A Procilio relatum in eo loco dehisse terram et id ex S. C. ad haruspices relatum esse; responsum deum Manium postilionem postulare, id est civem fortissimum eo demitti.Tum quendam Curtium virum fortem armatum ascendisse in equum et a Concordia versum cum equo eo praecipitatum; eo facto locum coisse atque eius corpus divinitus humasse ac reliquisse genti suae monumentum.

In the Forum is the Lacus Curtius ' Pool of Curtius' ; it is quite certain that it is named from Curtius, but the story about it has three versions: for Procilius does not tell the same story as Piso, nor did Cornelius follow the story given by Procilius. Procilius states that in this place the earth yawned open, and the matter was by decree of the senate referred to the haruspices; they gave the answer that the God of the Dead demanded the fulfillment of a forgotten vow, namely that the bravest citizen be sent down to him. Then a certain Curtius, a brave man, put on his war-gear, mounted his horse, and turning away from the Temple of Concord, plunged into the gap, horse and all; upon which the place closed up and gave his body a burial divinely approved, and left to his clan a lasting memorial.

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library from M. Terentius Varro: On the Latin Language (Volume I. Books 5-7), Loeb Classical Library Vol. 333, translated by Roland G. Kent, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, © 1934, by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. The Loeb Classical Library ® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College.