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{ Tag Archives } Cicero

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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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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Potestas – Cicero

Cicero, Ad Atticum 6.1: Illud quidem fatebitur Scaptius, me ius dicente sibi omnem pecuniam ex edicto meo auferendi potestatem fuisse. Scaptius will admit this at least—that when I was judge he had the opportunity to carry off all the money from my edict. I don’t think ‘when I was judge’ is exactly the best translation […]

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Vergo – Cicero

Cicero, Ad Atticum 16.6: Sed tamen perspice quo ista vergant mihique aut scribe aut, quod multo malim, adfer ipse. But anyway, look into which way things are leaning and either write me or, what I’d much prefer, let me know in person. Haven’t done one of these in a while.  Will try to post more […]

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Regum rex regalior.

Today’s dictionary work, for acies (Cicero, Ad Atticum 10.7): Mea causa autem alia est, quod beneficio vinctus ingratus esse non possum, nec tamen in acie [me] sed Melitæ aut alio in loco simili [oppidulo] futurum puto. My case, though, is different, because I’m bound by a favor and can’t be ungrateful, but nevertheless I’m not […]

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Tamquam nudus nuces legeret.

Cicero, giving examples of the use of comparison to be witty, quoting a man responding to doubts that money was given to Magius because Magius was so poor, De Oratore 2.66: “Erras,” inquit, “Scaure; ego enim Magium non conservasse dico, sed tamquam nudus nuces legeret, in ventre abstulisse.” “Scaurus,” he said, “you are mistaken; I’m […]

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The Lazy Argument

Cicero, De Fato, 12.28-29, showing once again that ‘nihil tam absurde dici potest quod non dicatur ab aliquo philosophorum’: Sic enim interrogant: “Si fatum tibi est ex hoc morbo convalescere, sive tu medicum adhibueris sive non adhibueris, convalesces; item, si fatum tibi est ex hoc morbo non convalescere, sive tu medicum adhibueris sive non adhibueris, […]

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All right, so my bugbear for the week has been anointment.  In particular, unguere (or ungere), a Latin word meaning “to anoint”. My problem is that “anoint” is one of those 1913ese words that doesn’t correspond well to anything we talk about today. In its historical or ceremonial context—where you might anoint someone king, say—the […]

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