In that one voice all these things were heard

Lucan’s unforgettable description of Erictho’s final addition to her witch’s brew at (6.~685).  I’d like to remember to check a commentary to see what predecessors and parallels he could have been working with – Hesiod’s Typhoeus (passage below) is the only other extensive description of a voice that comes to mind but there’s the key difference that in Hesiod the sounds are present only one at a time (the list presenting him another lovely little ἄλλοτε alliterative catalogue) whereas Lucan bundles them into some unimaginable end.  The closest I get is to a nightmare version of polyphonic overtone singing

and lastly [she mixed in] her voice, more powerful than any drug to bewitch the powers of Lethe, first uttered indistinct sounds, sounds untunable and far different from human speech. The dog’s bark and the wolfs howl were in that voice; it resembled the complaint of the restless owl and the night-flying screechowl, the shrieking and roaring of wild beasts, the serpent’s hiss, the beat of waves dashing against rocks, the sound of forests, and the thunder that issues from a rift in the cloud: in that one voice all these things were heard.

Tum vox Lethaeos cunctis pollentior herbis
Excantare deos confundit murmura primum
Dissona et humanae multum discordia linguae.
Latratus habet illa canum gemitusque luporum,
Quod trepidus bubo, quod strix nocturna queruntur,
Quod strident ululantque ferae, quod sibilat anguis;
Exprimit et planctus inlisae cautibus undae
Silvarumque sonum fractaeque tonitrua nubis:
Tot rerum vox una fuit.

Hesiod at Theogony ~830:

φωναὶ δ᾽ ἐν πάσῃσιν ἔσαν δεινῇς κεφαλῇσι
παντοίην ὄπ᾽ ἰεῖσαι ἀθέσφατον: ἄλλοτε μὲν γὰρ
φθέγγονθ᾽ ὥστε θεοῖσι συνιέμεν, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε
ταύρου ἐριβρύχεω, μένος ἀσχέτου, ὄσσαν ἀγαύρου,
ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖτε λέοντος ἀναιδέα θυμὸν ἔχοντος,
ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖ σκυλάκεσσιν ἐοικότα, θαύματ᾽ ἀκοῦσαι,
ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖ ῥοίζεσχ᾽, ὑπὸ δ᾽ ἤχεεν οὔρεα μακρά.

And there were voices in all his dreadful heads which uttered every kind of sound unspeakable; for at one time they made sounds such that the gods understood, but at another, the noise of a bull bellowing aloud in proud ungovernable fury; and at another, the sound of a lion, relentless of heart; and at anothers, sounds like whelps, wonderful to hear; and again, at another, he would hiss, so that the high mountains re-echoed.


All time is gathered up together: all the centuries crowd her breast and torture it

From Bk 5 lines ~165ff of Lucan’s Civil War – Appius goes to consult the long-inactive Delphic oracle on the outcome of the war between Caesar and Pompey/Rome.  For all the attention rightly given to his Erichtho I find Lucan’s vision of prophetic possession the most chilling of his occasional sidelines into the surreal and supernatural.

Scared at last the maiden took refuge by the tripods [inside the temple]; she drew near to the vast chasm and there stayed; and her bosom for the first time drew in the divine power, which the inspiration of the rock, still active after so many centuries, forced upon her. At last Apollo mastered the breast of the Delphian priestess; as fully as ever in the past, he forced his way into her body, driving out her former thoughts, and bidding her human nature to come forth and leave her heart at his disposal. Frantic she careers about the cave, with her neck under possession; the fillets and garlands of Apollo, dislodged by her bristling hair, she whirls with tossing head through the void spaces of the temple; she scatters the tripods that impede her random course; she boils over with fierce fire, while enduring the wrath of Phoebus. Nor does he ply the whip and goad alone, and dart flame into her vitals: she has to bear the curb as well, and is not permitted to reveal as much as she is suffered to know. All time is gathered up together: all the centuries crowd her breast and torture it; the endless chain of events is revealed; all the future struggles to the light; destiny contends with destiny, seeking to be uttered. The creation of the world and its destruction, the compass of the Ocean and the sum of the sands—all these are before her.

Tandem conterrita virgo
Confugit ad tripodas vastisque adducta cavernis
Haesit et insueto concepit pectore numen,
Quod non exhaustae per tot iam saecula rupis
Spiritus ingessit vati; tandemque potitus
Pectore Cirrhaeo non umquam plenior artus
Phoebados inrupit Paean mentemque priorem
Expulit atque hominem toto sibi cedere iussit
Pectore. Bacchatur demens aliena per antrum
Colla ferens, vittasque dei Phoebeaque serta
Erectis discussa comis per inania templi
Ancipiti cervice rotat spargitque vaganti
Obstantes tripodas magnoque exaestuat igne
Iratum te, Phoebe, ferens. Nec verbere solo
Uteris et stimulos flammasque in viscera mergis:
Accipit et frenos, nec tantum prodere vati
Quantum scire licet. Venit aetas omnis in unam
Congeriem, miserumque premunt tot saecula pectus,
Tanta patet rerum series, atque omne futurum
Nititur in lucem, vocemque petentia fata
Luctantur; non prima dies, non ultima mundi,
Non modus Oceani, numerus non derat harenae.

Et nondum sparsa conpage carinae Naufragium sibi quisque facit

From Lucan’s Civil War 1.486-505, text and translation from the Loeb edition.

Nec solum volgus inani
Percussum terrore pavet; sed curia et ipsi
Sedibus exiluere patres, invisaque belli
Consulibus fugiens mandat decreta senatus.
Tum, quae tuta petant et quae metuenda relinquant
Incerti, quo quemque fugae tulit impetus, urguet
Praecipitem populum, serieque haerentia longa
Agmina prorumpunt. Credas aut tecta nefandas
Corripuisse faces aut iam quatiente ruina
Nutantes pendere domos: sic turba per urbem
Praecipiti lymphata gradu, velut unica rebus
Spes foret adflictis patrios excedere muros,
Inconsulta ruit. Qualis, cum turbidus Auster
Reppulit a Libycis inmensum Syrtibus aequor
Fractaque veliferi sonuerunt pondera mali,
Desilit in fluctus deserta puppe magister
Navitaque, et nondum sparsa conpage carinae
Naufragium sibi quisque facit; sic urbe relicta
In bellum fugitur.

Nor was the populace alone stricken with groundless fear. The Senate House was moved; the Fathers themselves sprang up from their seats; and the Senate fled, deputing to the consuls the dreaded declaration of war. Then, knowing not where to seek refuge or where to flee danger, each treads on the heels of the hastening population, wherever impetuous flight carries him. Forth they rush in long unbroken columns; one might think that impious firebrands had seized hold of the houses, or that the buildings were swaying and tottering in an earthquake shock. For the frenzied crowd rushed headlong through the city with no fixed purpose, and as if the one chance of relief from ruin were to get outside their native walls. So, when the stormy South wind has driven the vast sea from the Syrtes of Libya and the heavy mast with its sails has come crashing down, the skipper abandons the helm and leaps down with his crew into the sea, and each man makes shipwreck for himself before the planks of the hull are broken asunder. Thus Rome is abandoned, and flight is the preparation for war.