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{ Tag Archives } Cicero

The plural of “ibis”.

The matter of this plural is something I happened to fall into by accident this week. I was working on this out of Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2.50: Vomitione canes, purgatione autem alvos ibes Ægyptiæ curant. Dogs treat their stomachs by vomiting, while the ibises of Egypt do it by purging the bowel. I went […]

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Quae dantur, ut a domino.

Cicero, Ad Atticum 11.20: Sed et alia timenda sunt ab aliis Quintisque, et ab hoc ipso quæ dantur, ut a domino, rursus in eiusdem sunt potestate. But there are also other things to be feared from, among others, the Quinti, and the things given by [Caesar] himself, as by a master, are back in his […]

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Foster-children of fresh water.

Cicero, Ad Atticum 15.16a: Equidem etiam pluvias metuo, si Prognostica nostra vera sunt; ranae enim ῥητορεύουσιν. I’m actually also worried it may rain, if our Prognostics is correct, as the frogs are making their speeches. The Prognostics (Διοσημεῖα), considered part of the Φαινόμενα of Aratus Solensis, was translated into Latin by Cicero in his youth. […]

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What eye can't stand…

Cicero, Ad Atticum 10.8: Pati poterunt oculi me cum Gabinio sententiam dicere, et quidem illum rogari prius? Will my eyes be able to stand the sight of myself giving my opinion alongside Gabinius—or even his being asked it first? It looks clumsy, probably for the ‘eyes standing the sight of,’ which is probably a bit […]

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Numero Platonis obscurius.

Cicero, Ad Atticum 7.13: Ænigma […] plane non intellexi; est enim numero Platonis obscurius. I didn’t quite understand your riddle; it’s more obscure than Plato’s number. I’m not sure if ‘obscure’ is the best word to describe a riddle. “Plato’s number,” or the nuptial number, is given as either 6³ or 60⁴, both of which […]

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They corrupt.

Cicero, De Lege Agraria 2.97: Singularis homo privatus, nisi magna sapientia praeditus, vix cancellis et regionibus offici magnis in fortunis et copiis continetur. A private individual, unless he is endowed with great wisdom, is hardly restrained by the bars and boundaries of his position when among great wealth and power. I’ve been posting these less […]

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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 […]

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"Absentia" in M. Antonius

Mark Antony to Cicero (Ad Atticum 14.13a): Occupationibus est factum meis et subita tua profectione ne tecum coram de hac re agerem. Quam ob causam vereor ne absentia mea levior sit apud te. It happened that because of my business and your sudden departure that I couldn’t pursue this matter with you in person, so […]

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Cicero on haruspicy.

Cicero on haruspicy (De Divinatione 2.16): Caput est in iecore, cor in extis: iam abscedet, simul ac molam et vinum insperseris; deus id eripiet, vis aliqua conficiet aut exedet. There is a ‘head’ in the liver, a heart among the entrails. It may immediately disappear as soon as you have sprinkled on the groats and […]

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Emotions of Cicero.

Cicero on those judging his emotional state (Ad Atticum 12.40): Quam bene, nihil ad rem, sed genus scribendi id fuit quod nemo abiecto animo facere posset. How good it was is not the point, but the style of writing was that which no one with a depressed mind could have made. He criticizes them, stating […]

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