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Virtue is goodness.

Laozi, DàodéjÄ«ng 49: 善者,吾善之﹔ 不善者,吾亦善之﹔ 德善。 信者,吾信之﹔ 不信者,吾亦信之﹔ 德信。 Those who are good I treat with goodness; Those who are not good I also treat with goodness — Virtue is goodness. Those who are faithful I treat with faithfulness; Those who are not faithful I also treat with faithfulness — Virtue is faithfulness. All right, […]

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Needlefish in Pliny.

Acus sive belone unus piscium dehiscente propter multitudinem utero parit. The pipefish (acus, or belone) is the one fish that gives birth by its womb splitting open, due to its great number [of young]. The name belone has been observed to refer to both a toothed fish and a toothless one. The toothed fish, namely […]

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Ablatives for ambiguity

Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 7.9: Accusativi geminatione facta amphibolia solvitur ablativo, ut illud “Lachetem audivi percussisse Demean” fiat “a Lachete percussum Demean”. Sed ablativo ipsi, ut in primo diximus, inest naturalis amphibolia: “cælo decurrit aperto”: utrum per apertum cælum an cum apertum esset. Ambiguity created by doubling an accusative is resolved with an ablative, so that […]

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About 24,800 results for ‘manure into gold’

Cato the Elder, De Agri Cultura: Stercus unde facias: stramenta, lupinum, paleas, fabalia, acus, frondem iligneam, querneam. You can make manure from straw, lupin, chaff, beanstalks, husks, and boughs of oak and holm-oak. The short glosses of palea and acus both tend to be ‘chaff.’ Here, however, they are distinguished. Pliny describes the difference: Acus […]

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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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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: FÄ«lĭă | pÅ«rpÅ­rÄ•|ōs NÄ«|sō fÅ«|rātă că|pÄ«llōs pÅ«bÄ• prÄ•|mÄ«t răbÄ­|dōs || Ä«nguÄ­nÄ­|bÅ«squÄ• că|nÄ“s. 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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Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 37.10, on quartz crystals: Quæ vero sine vitio sint, pura esse malunt, acenteta appellantes, nec spumei coloris, sed limpidæ aquæ. Those which are in fact flawless are preferred uncut and are called acenteta; and they are not cloudy in color, but of the color of clear water. Acentetum is from the […]

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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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