Key to Reading Unit 10

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Unit 10

  1. In the Circus Maximus (7.3) the emperor (Caesar came to be used as synonymous with imperator; the emperor referred to here is Tiberius) was staging for (lit. giving) the people a fight [which consisted] of an enormous animal-hunt. This spectacle I saw when I was by chance in Rome. [There were] there many savage wild animals, the sizes of the beasts [were] splendid, [and] either the appearance or the ferocity of them all was unusual. But beyond everything else the huge size of the lions caused amazement, and one [in particular] beyond all the other [lions]. With the violent movement (impetu) and vastness of its body, its terrifying and loud roar, [and] the muscles and mane of its neck, this lion had attracted the attention (animos) and eyes of all. A man of consular rank, among others, gave a slave, whose name was Androclus, for the animal fight. When the lion in question (ille) saw him at a distance it stood hesitating, and then, slowly and peacefully, approached the man. Then, after the manner of dogs, it moved its tail gently and coaxingly, and pressed (lit. joined itself to) the man’s body, and with its tongue lightly rubbed the terrified man’s shins and hands (the verbs are in the present tense for vividness). During these (illa is strictly those but English idiom requires these in this context) wheedling actions of so terrible a wild beast Androclus had regained his composure [and] gradually dared to shift his eyes to the lion. Then, as though by mutual recognition, man and lion looked at each other. (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, V, 14 adapted)

  2. The gods indeed bring profit to the person (ei) to whom they are favourable .

  3. One deceit follows hard on (lit. pushes) another.

  4. Not all are mad in the same way (lit. the same madness is not for all).

  5. Fortune gives in excess to many, [but] sufficiently to none (i.e no-one is satisfied with Fortune’s gifts).

  6. Any human can make a mistake but no-one except a fool persists in it (lit. it is [characteristic] of any human to err, [but] [it is characteristic] of no-one unless a fool to persist in error).

  7. He who has scorned glory has true [glory].

  8. A miser himself is the cause of his own misery.

  9. Those who live in a kitchen have a good smell (i.e. people who enjoy a privileged position have an advantage over those who do not).

  10. You are in the same boat.

  11. There is no friendship between master and slave.

  12. Necessity lays down the law [but] does not submit to it.

  13. Any fox praises its own cause.

  14. A person who always smells well does not smell well (i.e. a person who always uses scent destroys its effect).

  15. A person who is everywhere is nowhere (i.e. a person who tries to be everywhere accomplishes nothing).

  16. Things which harm teach.

  17. There is indeed no misfortune without some good (malum here has no moral connotation).

  18. A person who has hidden well has lived well (i.e. an inconspicuous life is best).

  19. Some have a tongue, others teeth (lit. for some [there is] a tongue, for others [there are] teeth, i.e. some people gossip, others bite).

  20. The person who loves me loves my dog as well.

  21. The person who makes an old man his heir is putting his treasure in a grave.

  22. Those who do not know the [right] track for themselves point out the road to another (i.e. people who themselves make mistakes even in small matters give advice to others in important matters).

  23. Whoever has money sails on a care-free breeze (note that the Latin securus does not mean the same as the English secure). (Petronius, Satyrica, CXXXVII; Petronius (d. 66AD) wrote what is for us a highly unusual novel, the Satyrica (or Satyricon), which has survived only in part)

  24. The beginning is half of the whole (i.e. if you make a good start you are half-way to achieving your goal).

  25. The same person cannot speak both copiously and opportunely (lit. it is not [the characteristic] of the same person to say both many things and opportune things, i.e. in a particular situation one person may blather on while another says in a few words precisely what is required).

  26. It is stupid to stumble upon the same stone twice (i.e. it is stupid to repeat the same mistake).

  27. Puppies smell one way (have one sort of smell), pigs another (used of two groups or classes which may have a superficial resemblance but which are really different).

  28. Old age itself is a disease.

  29. He who says 'no' briefly conveys no light service.

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000