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On the nautical government.

Cicero, against the idea of returning to a political situation (Ad Atticum 2.7):

Iam pridem gubernare me tædebat, etiam cum licebat; nunc vero cum cogar exire de navi non abiectis sed ereptis gubernaculis, cupio istorum naufragia ex terra intueri.

For a long time now I’ve been tired of steering, even while I was allowed; and now that I’m being forced to leave this ship, the helm not left behind but snatched away, I am quite eager to watch the wreckage from dry land.

Nautical metaphors like this, of course, are the reason the word ‘govern’ (gubernare, to steer or pilot) has come to mean what it has.  In addition to governing, we also have the ship of state (navis), being at the helm (gubernaculum), and the wreckage of a political career (naufragium).

For some reason, though Cicero can say istorum naufragia ‘their wreckage, the wreckage of those people’, I couldn’t find a way to make leaving the pronoun in sound natural.

[For abicio.]

On a side note, I will be updating about half as much as usual for a while as I work on designing a program to help keep better track of information for it.

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