Prima lux


Terence: Adelphoe 828

ceterum ego rus cras cum filio cum primo luci ibo hinc.

Tomorrow at first light I’m taking my son away from here to the farm


Varro: De re rustica 2.2.10 

Eaeque ibi, ubi pascuntur in eadem regione, tamen temporibus distinguntur, aestate quod cum prima luce exeunt pastum, propterea quod tunc herba roscida meridianam, quae est aridior, iucunditate praestat.

Such [flocks of sheep], even when they feed in the same locality, are treated differently at different seasons; thus, in summer they begin feeding at first light, because at that time the grass, filled with dew, is superior to the grass of midday, which is drier.


Caesar: Gallic wars, Book 1:22

Prima luce cum summus mons a Labieno teneratur

At first light the mountain top was held by Labienus


Caesar: Gallic wars 2.11

Prima luce, confirmata re ab exploratoribus, omnem equitatum, qui novissimum agmen moraretur, praemisit.

At first light, when the information had been confirmed by reconnaissance, he sent forward all the cavalry to delay [the enemy’s] rearguard


Cicero: Letters to Atticus 4.3

Metellus cum prima luce furtim in campum itineribus prope deviis currebat

Metellus at first light hastened stealthily towards the Campus by a circuitous route


Cicero: De officiis 3.112

Quod cum audivisset adulescens filius negotium exhiberi patri, accurisse Romam et cum primo luci Pomponii domum venisse dicitur.

When the young man, his son, heard that someone was giving his father trouble, he hurried to Rome and at first light arrived at Pomponius’ house, so it’s said


Sallust: Histories 3.66

deinde Eburinis iugis occultus ad Naris Lucanas atque inde prima luce pervenit ad Anni Forum, ignaris cultoribus.

then he went over the Eburine heights to Nares Lucanae, from where he advanced at first light to Forum Anni, before the inhabitants realised


Livy: History of Rome 24.22

Luce prima populus omnis, armatus inermisque, in Achradinam ad curiam convenit

At first light all the people, armed and unarmed, gathered at the council house in Achradina


Livy: History of Rome 36.21

is prima luce in senatum vocauit

[Marcus Iunius] summoned the senate at first light


Livy: History of Rome 38.51

ubi ea venit, tribuni in Rostris prima luce consederunt

when that [day] arrived, the tibunes took their seats on the Rostra at first light


Livy: History of Rome 41.26

prima lux ferme erat, cum vigiles in vallo quique in portarum stationibus erant, cum vidissent procul venientem hostem, ad arma conclamaverunt.

It was hardly first light when the sentinals on the rampart and the men on ourtpost duty at the gates caught sight of the enemy advanving in the distance and gave the alarm


Seneca the Younger: Epistulae ad Lucilium 20.122.1

Officiosior meliorque si quis illum expectat et lucem primam excipit

He is more helpful and better who anticipates [the day] and catches first light


Valerius Maximus: Factorum et dictorum memorabilium 5.4.3

id postquam Manlius adulescens cognovit, protinus urbem petiit et se in Pomponii domum prima luce direxit.

After the young man, Manlius, heard about this he set off for the city at once and at first light made his way to Pomponius’ house


Frontinus: Strategemata 2.5.21

Hannibal, cum explorasset neglegenter castra Fulvi, Romani ducis, munita, ipsum praeterea multa temere audere, prima luce, cum densiores nebulae praestarent obscuritatem, paucos equites munitionum nostrarum vigilibus ostendit

Hannibal, on one occasion, learned that the camp of Fulvius, the Roman commander, was carelessly fortified and that Fulvius himself was taking many rash chances besides. Accordingly, at first light, when dense mists afforded cover, he permitted a few of his horsemen to show themselves to the sentries of our fortifications


Asconius: Pro Milone, 32

Maior postera die luce prima multitudo eiusdem generis confluxit, compluresque noti homines visi sunt.

 Next day, at first light, an even greater crowd of the same composition assembled, and several men of note were seen


Tacitus: Hist 2.49

Luce prima in ferrum pectore incubuit

At first light he (Otho) fell upon his dagger.


Suetonius: Claudius 34.2

Bestiarius meridianisque adeo delectabur, ut et prima luce ad spectaculum descenderet et meridie dimisso ad prandium populo persederet.

He took such pleasure in the combats with wild beasts and of those that fought at noon that he would go down to the arena at first light and after dismissing the people for lunch at midday he would keep his seat.


Suetonius: Galba 18.2

Cumque exterritus luce prima ...... Tusculum excucurrisset.

When [Galba] hastened in terror to Tusculum at first light.


Lex metalli Vipascenensis:  Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 6891 (early 2nd century CE)

Conductor balinei sociusve eius omnia sua impensa balineum [quod ita conductum habe]bit in pr k Iul primas omnibus diebus calfacere et praestare debeto a prima luce in horam septim[am diei mulieribus] et ab hora octava in horam secundam noctis viris arbitratu proc qui metallis praeerit.

Baths at Vipasca (Portugal)

The lessee of the baths or his partner shall, in accordance with the terms of his lease running to June 30 next, be required to heat the baths and keep them open for use entirely at his own expense every day from first light to the seventh hour for women, and from the eighth hour to the second hour in the evening for men, at the discretion of the procurator in charge of the mines. 


Apuleius: Metamorphoses, 9.21

Sed dum prima luce Barbarus procedit cubiculo, videt sub lectulo soleas incognitas,

But at first light, when Barbarus was leaving the bedroom, he noticed the unfamiliar slippers under the bed


Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae 498 (Graffito, Mithraeum of Santa Prisca, Rome, 202 CE)

Natus prima luce / duobus augg. co(n)s(ulibus) / Severo et Anton[ino] / XII k(alendas) decem[bres] / dies Saturni / luna XVIII

Born at first light when the emperors (Septimius) Severus and Antonius (Caracalla) were consuls, on the 12th day before the calends of December, Saturday, 18th day of the moon


Julius Obsequens: Liber de prodigiis 52

Vulsiniis prima luce flamma caelo emicare visa

At Vulsinium at first light flames were seen bursting from the sky


Julius Obsequens: Liber de prodigiis 69

in castris Caesaris luce prima in culmine praetorii super linteum consedit aquila, inde circumvolantibus minoribus avibus excita de conspectu abiit.

In the camp of Caesar at first light an eagle settled on top of the headquarters above the lintel, then after it was driven away by smaller birds which were flying around it disappeared from sight


Ammianus Marcellinus: Res Gestae 16.12.12

hic quaeso vallo fossaque circumdati divisis vigiliis quiescamus somnoque et victu congruis potiti pro tempore, pace dei sit dictum, triumphaturas aquilas et vexilla victricia primo lucis moveamus exordio

here I propose that we set a watch and rest, where we are protected by a rampart and ditch, and, after an adequate allowance of sleep and food, at first light let us, god willing, advance our eagles to triumph and our standards to victory


Aurelius Victor: Liber de Caesaribus 17

Quo cognito senatus, qui ob festa Ianuariorum frequens primo luci convenerat, simul plebes hostem deorum atque hominum radendumque nomen sanxere 

When this was known the senate, which had gathered at first light for the January festival, together with the people, declared [Commodus] to be an enemy of the gods and men and for his name to be erased


Orosius: Historiarum adversum paganos libri 6.19.16

kalendis Sextilibus prima luce Antonius cum ad instruendam classem in portum descenderet

on the first of Sextilus [August] at first light Antony went down to the port to draw up his fleet