Key to Reading Unit 11

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Unit 11

  1. This remarkable business aroused the loud shouts of the people. The emperor summoned Androclus and asked about the lion's docility. Then Androclus told an amazing story, ‘When my master was governing the province [of] Africa with proconsular authority, I, driven by his unjust and daily beatings, fled and retired to the solitude (lit. solitudes) of the plains. Then in the great heat I found a certain remote and concealed cave in (lit. into) which I hid myself. And not much later this lion came to the same cave uttering groans because of a weak and bloody foot. And at first the sight of a lion approaching did indeed terrify me. But after the lion entered its dwelling, as was clear from what it did (lit. from the thing itself; it was obvious that the lion lived in the cave from the fact of its entering) and saw me hiding, it approached [me] gently (the adjective mitis is to be translated by an adverb, 17.1/3). Next, it showed its foot and stretched [it] out. I then pulled out a huge thorn sticking in the sole of its foot and I pressed out the gore that had formed. Then it, relieved by what I had done (lit. by my work), put its foot into my hands and fell asleep. From that day for a whole three years the lion and I lived in the same cave and on the same food. But when that savage life was beginning to be tiresome for me I left the cave. After a journey of three days soldiers caught me and took me from Africa to my master at Rome (lit. to Rome to my master) who sent me for the beasts of prey. This lion, caught separately, has now returned thanks to me for my good deed.

    When he said these things (Latin often puts a subordinating conjunction (here ubi) in the second place in its clause to give emphasis to the word put first) the emperor remitted his punishment and released him (lit. released him having been freed from punishment; poenā is an ablative of separation - 28.1/2e) and gave him the lion. Afterwards we used to see Androclus with (lit. and) the lion tied by a slender leash walking around the shops over the whole city, [and] the drinkers giving him money and scattering the lion with flowers, [and] all saying, ‘This lion is the man’s guest, this man is the lion’s doctor.’ (in the last sentence Latin uses the infinitives ambulare, dare, spargere, dicere after videbamus where English uses participles). (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, V, 14 adapted)

  2. The Megarians build as if [they were] going to live forever [but] live as if [they were] going to die tomorrow.

  3. If you have done a good act (lit. something rightly) requiring (lit. through) effort, [the memory of] that effort will quickly fade from you [but] the good act will not depart from you while you live; but if you have done a bad act through pleasure, the pleasure will quickly pass away [but] the bad act will be with you forever.

  4. It is wisdom (lit. that is to be wise [namely]) not only to see what is in front of your feet but also to see in advance those things which are going to happen (lit. be).

  5. Nothing [is] difficult for a lover.

  6. The matter itself is evidence.

  7. A silent face often has a voice and words.

  8. Seven is a party, nine an uproar (i.e. for a convivial meeting you must not invite too many guests).

  9. The matter is a critical point (see note on 30.3 l.17 for the first meaning of cardo).

  10. [While] escaping from the smoke I fell into the fire.

  11. One man [is] no man (i.e. a person can do little by himself).

  12. He fears even passing flies (lit. flies flying past).

  13. A man fleeing will fight again as well (i.e. he who fights and runs away etc.).

  14. God finds the guilty one.

  15. You will never find a drink [by] stirring pure water with mud.

  16. Your face calculates [your] years. (Juvenal, Satires, VI, 199; on Juvenal see 31.3)

  17. The gates of the Muses [are] open (i.e. culture is open to all).

  18. A hungry donkey takes no notice of a club.

  19. An old woman [when] dancing creates much dust (i.e. if you do something beyond your powers or inappropriate to your age you will be conspicuous in your failure).

  20. Those whom love distresses grow old in one day.

  21. Both said and done at the same time (i.e. no sooner said than done).

  22. Hopes nurture exiles (we must decide from the sense which noun is subject and which is object).

  23. For a sick mind speech is a doctor (i.e. a distressed person finds relief in conversation).

  24. Bones [are] for the late-comers (lit. for those coming late; if you get to a feast late you will only find bones).

  25. He took two boars in one defile (cf. to kill two birds with one stone; a defile would be natural place to trap a wild boar).

  26. The smell of profit from any source is good.

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000