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Semiliberi saltem simus.

Cicero to Atticus (Ad Atticum 13.31):

Obsecro, abiciamus ista et semiliberi saltem simus, quod adsequemur et tacendo et latendo.

Please, let’s put these things aside, and be at least half free, which we can achieve by keeping quiet and lying low.

I couldn’t reproduce the alliteration in semiliberi saltem simus ‘let us be at least half free,’ which makes it half poetic. This is the second example of alliteration I’ve run across in translating Cicero; apparently it is a thing he was known to like. (The first one I found was ferro, fame, frigore, pestilentia from In Pisonem; I was able to retain it, if a bit out of order, with ‘sword, starvation, sickness, and cold.’)

Also, I’m not entirely fond of this quod assequemur. The most natural rendering I’ve found so far is ‘which we can do’, where ‘do’ doesn’t seem heavy enough to bring across assequi, while most of the other alternatives seem a little highfalutin. ‘Achieve’ is about the right level, but still doesn’t sound right. I’ll have to think about it.

[For abicio.]

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