Home: Torre del Greco Epitaffio (Texts and Translations) by Eugene Dwyer

A. The First Inscription (1562)


VIAM

A NEAPOLI AD RHEGIVM

PERPETVIS ANTEA LATROCINIIS

INFAMEM

ET CONFLAGRATI VESVVII SAXIS

IMPEDITAM

PVRGATO INSIDIIS LOCO

EXÆQVATA PLANITIE

LATAM RECTAMQue DVXIT

AERE PROVINCIALI

PERAFANVS RIBERA ALCALANO:DVX

PROREX

ANNO DomiNI MDLXII


B. The Second Inscription (1635)



AT O
VIII ET LX. POST ANNO XVII CALEND: IANVARII
PHILIPPO IV REGE

                                                                 FVMO FLAMMIS BOATV

                                                          CONCVSSO CINERE ERUPTIONE

                                              HORRIFICVS FERVS SI VMQVAM VESVVIVS

                                          NEC NOMEN NEC FASCES TANTI VIRI EXTIMVIT

QVIPPE EXARDESCENTE CAVIS SPECVBVS IGNE

IGNITVS FVRENS IRRVGIENS

EXITVM ELVCTANS COERCITVS AER

DISIECTO VIOLENTER MONTIS CVLMINE

IMMANI ERVPIT HIATV POSTRIDIE

EIACVLATVS TRANS HELLESPONTVM CINEREM

PONE TRAHENS AD EXPLENDAM VICEM PELAGVS

IMMITE PELAGVS

FLVVIOS SVLPHVREOS FLAMMATVM BITVMEN

FOETAS ALVMINE CAVTES

INFORME CVIVSQVE METALLI RVDVS

MIXTVM AQVARVM VOLVMINIBVS IGNEM

FERVENTENQ(ue) VNDANTE FVMO CINEREM

SESEQ(ue) FVNESTAMQ(ue) COLLVVIEM

IVGO MONTIS EXONERANS

POMPEIOS HERCVLANVM OCTAVIANVM

PERSTRICTVS REATINA ET PORTICV

SILVASQ(ue) VILLASQ(ue) AEDESQ(ue)

MOMENTO STRAVIT VSSIT DIRVIT

LVCTVOSAM PRÆ SE PRÆDAM AGENS

VASTVMQ(ue) TRIVMPHVM

PERIERAT HOC QVOQ(ue) MARMOR ALTE SEPVULTVM

CONSVLTISSIMI MONVMTENTVM PROREGIS

NE PEREAT

EMMANVEL FONSECA ET ZVNICA COM. MONT. REG. PROR.

QVA ANIMI MAGNITVDINE PVBLICÆ CALAMITATI

EA PRIVATÆ CONSVLIT

EXTRACTVM FVNDITVS GENTILIS SVI LAPIDEM

CŒLO RESTITVIT VIAM RESTAVRAVIT

FVMANTE ADHVC ET INDIGNANTE VESEVO

AN. SAL. MDCXXXV

PRÆFECTO VIARVM

ANTONIO SVARES MESSIA MARCH: VICI


C. Translations


Perafàn Ribera, Duke of Alcalà,

Viceroy,

With Provincial Funds,

Broadened and Straightened

The Road

From Naples to Reggio,

Heretofore Infamous

For Ever-present Brigands

And Blocked by Stones

From the Conflagration of Vesuvius,

Ridding the Place of Ambushes

And Leveling the Surface,

In the Year of Our Lord 1562

 

 

 

But Alas!

Sixty-eight years later, on the Sixteenth of December,

In the Reign of Philip IV,

Amidst Smoke, Flames, and Explosions,

With Tremors, Ashes, Eruption,

Vesuvius, Fierce and Terrifying as ever,

Respected neither the Name nor the Authority of so great a Man,

But the Compressed Gas forced an Exit,

Inflamed, Raging, Roaring,

With the Summit violently cast from the Mountain

Erupted in a gaping Hole on the following Day,

Hurling Ashes beyond the Hellespont,

Drawing the Sea from behind in order to compound the Misery,

The Cruel Sea,

And Pouring forth from the Crest of the Mountain

Sulfurous Rivers, Flaming Pitch,

Births Jagged with Alum,

Rude and formless Pieces of Every Metal,

Fire mixed with Torrents of Water,

Hot Ashes with Billowing Smoke,

The Confluvium of its own Destruction,

Having Strangled Resina and Portici,

In One Moment Leveled, Burned, and Destroyed

Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ottaviano,

Woods, Farms, Churches,

Driving before it its own Grievous Reward

And Devastating Triumph.

 Lest there be lacking

 A Monument to the Most Conscientious Viceroy,

Emmanuel Fonseca y Zuniga,

Count of Monterey and Viceroy,

Who in his Magnanimity Adjudicated

Both the Public as well as the Private Calamity,

Antonio Suares Messia, Marchese di Vico,

Prefect of Roads,

Constructed this Marble, Buried deeply,

A Stone Extracted from the Depths of Its own Territory,

Restored to the Light and Rebuilt the Road,

With Vesuvius Smoking and Protesting,

In the Year of Our Salvation 1635