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{ Tag Archives } 1st century BC

Ne diutius pendeas…

Cicero, Ad Atticum 4.15: Ne diutius pendeas, palmam tulit. I won’t leave you hanging — he did carry the palm. Of course, the palma was a sign of victory; palmam ferre would be like winning a medal, perhaps. I think ‘carry the palm’ can stand as an idiom on its own in English, though.

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The lesser Septentrio.

Cicero on constellations, De Natura Deorum 2.43: Minorem autem Septentrionem Cepheus passis palmis [post] terga subsequitur. Now Cepheus, palms outstretched, follows behind the lesser Septentrio. Cepheus is still reckoned a constellation; minor Septentrio appears to be an unusual name corresponding to what we would now call Ursa Minor, or the Little Dipper.

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Tranquillissimus animus.

Cicero, Ad Atticum 7.7: Cetera videntur esse tranquilla; tranquillissimus autem animus meus qui totum istuc æqui boni facit. Everything else seems to be going peaceably; and my mind is quite peaceable itself, taking the whole thing with contentment. I don’t think I have the second half of this second sentence right at all. Tranquillissimus autem […]

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Virtus post nummos.

Horace, Epistulae 1.1.53-56: “Ō cī|vēs, cī|vēs, quǣ|rēndă pĕ|cūnĭă | prīmum ēst; vīrtūs | pōst nūm|mōs!” Hǣc | Jānūs | sūmmŭs ăb | īmō prōdŏcĕt, | hǣc rĕcĭ|nūnt jŭvĕ|nēs dīc|tātă sĕ|nēsquĕ. “Hey, citizens! Citizens! Seeking money should come first – virtue after dollars!” This is what the Janus teaches from end to end; the young and […]

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Habet pœnam noxium caput.

Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 10.40: “Di in prœlio sunt,” inquit; “habet pœnam noxium caput.“ “The gods are in this battle,” he said. “The guilty head has received its punishment.” It feels righter here to put habet as “has received” here rather than “has”. I have a vague idea that this isn’t the first time I’ve […]

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Bonus et quietus et bonus.

Caesar, in Cicero’s Ad Atticum 10.8b: Postremo quid viro bono et quieto et bono civi magis convenit quam abesse a civilibus controversiis? Finally, what is more appropriate for a good man, a good and quiet citizen, than to absent himself from civil quarrels? Caesar is trying to convince Cicero here not to get involved in […]

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Adjectives associating with ‘capillus’ in classical Latin.

Last week, Iustinus had posted an issue he had run across — a student had attempted to refer to ‘brown hair’ in Latin, but a mot juste in this case seemed to be lacking. I did a bit of searching through my handy corpus and found that among all the classical authors I had, color […]

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Reggio.

A short one — Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 24.1: Itaque Regio extemplo abscessum est. And so they left Reggio immediately. There are two cities in Italy called Reggio, or R(h)egium in Latin: Reggio nell’Emilia in the north and Reggio di Calabria in the south, at the toe of the Italian boot.  The latter is the one being referred […]

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Vicensima.

Cicero, Ad Atticum 2.16.1: Portoriis Italiæ sublatis, agro Campano diviso, quod vectigal superest domesticum præter vicensimam? With the Italian tariffs lifted and the field of Campania all parceled out, what domestic revenue is left besides the vicesima? I suppose the only thing I don’t like about this one is leaving vicensima untranslated.  But I think […]

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Scyllas in Ovid.

Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.331-2: Fīlĭă | pūrpŭrĕ|ōs Nī|sō fū|rātă că|pīllōs pūbĕ prĕ|mīt răbĭ|dōs || īnguĭnĭ|būsquĕ că|nēs. The daughter who stole the purple hair from Nisus now pushes down rabid dogs with her crotch and groin. This one’s a bit weird on its own.  The woman being spoken of is Scylla—or rather, two women named Scylla; […]

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