Prayers to Neptunus
Arnobius Adversus Nationes III 43
Come, Dii Penates, come Apollo and Neptune and all You Gods, and by Your powers may You mercifully turn aside this ill disease that violently twists, scorches and burns our city with fever.
Horace Carmina 1.5.6-16
(O Neptune) Soon he'll...stare in wondering shock At winds gone wild on blackening seas! ...how false the breeze can blow. Pity all those who have not yet found Your glossy sweetness churned! My shipwreck's tale Hangs, told in colours, on Neptune's temple wall, a votive Plaque, with salvaged clothes Still damp, vowed to the sea's rough lord.
Lucan Pharsalia 4.110-13
May it be your will, O supreme Father of the Universe, and Yours also, O Neptune, to Whom the lot fell second and gave an equal power of the trident over the seas. May You above impede the air with perpetual storm clouds; and You below forbid to turn back each surge of the sea You send forth.
Ovid Metamorphoses 8.595-602
O Neptune, who reigns over the realm of wandering waves, Bearer of the Trident, come to our aid, I pray, and undo her father's savagery. Neptune, grant her a safe haven, or else allow her to become a place herself, (to live forever as one of Your nymphs).
Petronius Arbiter Satyricon 108
O Gods, help us! Who takes up arms and beckons death amid the waves, or inadequate to suffer one death? The sea's savagery is enough, send no fresh floods to swell the savage waves.
Plautus Rodens 906-910:
Thanks be to Neptune my patron, who dwells in the fish-teeming salt sea, for speeding me homeward from his sacred abode, well laden and in a good hour.
Plautus Stichus 402-5
Thanks be to Neptunus and the Tempestates, for returning me safe home again, my venture a success! And also to Mercurius, who helped me in my mercantile affairs and quadrupled my fortune with profit.
Plautus Trinummus 819-30
O Neptunus, brother of Jove and Nereus, heartily and gladly I give you praise and grateful thanks. And to you, Neptunus, before all other gods I offer and accord you the highest thanks. I give you praise, for you know how to treat men fairly; this befits the Gods.
Sillius Italicus Punica 15.159-62
Neptune, divine Lord of the Trident, on whose high seas we begin to cross, if my preparations are made justly, grant our fleet to sail safely, Father, and do not scorn to aid our labors. The war I now draw across the sea is a just war.
Statius Achilleis 1.61-76
Father and Master of the mighty Deep, look, Neptune, at what kind of pitiful use You allow passage across the open seas. Safely under sail pass the crimes of nations, ever since that Pagasean prow ruptured the sanctions of law and the hallowed dignity of the sea while carrying Jason in his quest for plunder. Grant that I may drive off mourning, and that it not be pleasing to You that over so many waves I should find but a single shore to inhabit a sepulcher on some Ilian promontory.
Statius Silvae 3.2.1-49
Gods, who delight in preserving bold ships and turning from them the perils of windy seas, make smooth and placid these waters, and attend with good council my vows, let not my words be drowned out by roaring waves as I pray:
"O Neptune, grand and rare is the pledge we make to You, and in what we commend into the depths of the sea. Young Maecius it is whose body we commit to the sea, far from the sight of land, that he, the better part of our souls, traverses the sea's length and depth (to the Western Lands).
"Bring forth the benign stars, the Spartan brothers, Castor and Pollux, to sit upon the horns of the yard arm. Let your light illuminate sea and sky. Drive off your sister Helen's stormy star, I pray, and expel it from all the heavens.
"And you azure Nereids of the seas, whose good fortune it was to attain mastery of the oceans – may it be allowed to name you stars of the seas – rise up from your glassy caverns near the foaming waves that encircle Doris, and tranquilly swim circles around the shores of Baiae where the hot springs abound. Seek after the lofty ship on which a noble descendant of Ausonians, Celer, mighty at arms, is glad to embark. Not long will you need to look, for she lately came across the sea, leading a convoy laden with Egyptian wheat and bound for Dicarcheis. First was she to salute Capreae and from her starboard side offer a libation of Mareotic wine to Tyrrhenian Minerva. Near to her, on either side, circle gracefully around her. Divide your labors, some to tighten fast the rigging from masts to deck, while others high above spread forth canvass sails to the westerly Zephyrs. Still others replace some benches, others send into the water the rudder by whose curved blade steers the ship. Another plumbs the depths with leaden weights while others to fasten the skiff that follows astern, and to dive down and drag the hooked anchor from the depths, and one to control the tides and make the sea flow eastward. Let none of the sea green sisterhood be without her task.
"Then let Proteus of manifold shape and triformed Triton swim before, and Glaucus whose loins vanished by sudden enchantment, and who, so oft as he glides up to his native shores, wistfully beats his fish tail on Anthedon's strand.
"But above all others you, Palaemon, with your goddess mother, be favourable, if I have a passion to tell of your own Thebes, and sing of Amphion, bard of Phoebus, with no unworthy quill. "And may the father whose Aeolian prison constrains the winds, whom the various blasts obey, and every air that stirs on the world's seas, and storms and cloudy tempests, keep the North wind and South and East in closer custody behind his wall of mountain, but may Zephyr alone have the freedom of the sky, alone drive vessels onward and skim unceasingly over the crests of billows, until he brings without a storm your glad sails safe to the Paraetonian haven."
Valerius Flaccus Argonautica 1.188-203
"Neptune, Lord of Waters, the highest honor falls to You, along the shoreline, decked with dark blue ribbons, a bull Ancaeus fells, and to Zephyris and Glaucus bulls as well, while a heifer is offered to Thetis. No one is more deft than he with the ritual axe at the fat necks of the cattle. Jason himself pours a goblet in libation to the lord of the sea, saying, "O God, who with a nod can stir the ocean foam, You who with Your salt water encompass the lands of the earth, hear my prayer and grant me Your indulgence. I am the first of mankind to venture forth on unlawful paths across Your waters, and therefore, one might suppose, deserve the worst of Your storms. It is not my own idea to presume in this way, to pile mountain on high mountain and summon down from Olympus bolts of heavenly lightning. Pelias' prayers are false. Do not be swayed by his vows, but know that he devised and imposed his cruel commands to send me off to Colchis and bring on me and my kin the bitterest grief. I beg of You, therefore, mercy and justice. Let Your waters receive me: bear me up and protect this ship and its crew of kings." Thus he spoke as he poured the rich wine from the cup on the blazing coals of fire.
Valerius Flaccus Argonautica 1.667-80
O You Gods who rule the waves and hold domain over the winds and storms, you whose dwelling places reach from the ocean's depths to the heights of heaven, and you Father of the Gods, who order the spheres of the sky and govern the tides, behold a novelty here on earth, a ship on the sea with armed men. For your rage I make atonement and pray you look with indulgence upon us. Let me bring these men safely to shore, and let me go home again where I shall offer up on the sacrificial altars those rich feasts your mercy shall have deserved. In every village and hamlet men shall acknowledge the might of Neptune and pay you homage.
Virgil Aeneid 3.528-9
Gods of land and sea, and of their potent storms, carry us on a gentle breeze and breathe a favorable wind for us to follow.
Virgil Aeneid 5.235-8
Gods, who commands the open seas, upon whose waves I hasten, gladly before your altar on this shore will I arrange the sacrifice of a white bull, this I vow as guarantor, to make his entrails an offering and pour clear wine on the briny sea in your honour.
AE 1997, 977; Hamble, Britannia
Lord Neptune, I commend to You the fellow who pounced upon what rightfully belongs to Muconus and therefore I remit to You the six silver coins along with the one who stole them, whether male or female, whether a boy or a girl, therefore I give to You, Niske, and for Neptune the life, health, and blood of him whose conscious will be filled with guilt, his mind beguiled, he who violated me in here, and who knows his guilt, in order that You ensnare this thief who violate me in this way; may You attack him and consume his blood, Lord Neptune.
Domine Neptune tibi dono hominem qui solidum involavit Muconi et argentiolos sex ideo dono nomina qui decepit si mascel si femina si puer si puella ideo dono tibi Niske et Neptuno vitam valitudinem sanguem eius qui conscius fuerit eius deceptionis animus qui hoc involavit et qui conscius fuerit ut eum decipias furem qui hoc involavit sanguem eius consumas et decipias domine Neptune.