Key to Reading Unit 14

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Unit 14

  1. Pharus is a tower on an island, of great height [and] built with remarkable skill (operibus pl. for s.); it (lit. which) has taken its name from the island. This island, lying opposite Alexandria, forms a harbour; but through piles thrown into the sea by earlier kings for a distance of 900 paces (i.e. nine tenths of a Roman mile) it is joined to the city by a narrow road and bridge. In this island are houses of Egyptians and a village; and any ships which deviate a little from their course through carelessness or a storm they seize in the manner of pirates (lit. what ships . . . these they seize). However, if those who hold Pharus are hostile (lit. those by whom Pharus is held [being] unwilling) ships cannot enter the harbour (lit. there is not an entrance for ships into the harbour) on account of the narrow channel. (Caesar, de Bello Civili, III, 112, 1-4 adapted)

  2. The nature of the place which our men had chosen was as follows (lit. was this): a hill sloping evenly from its peak ran down to the River Sabis (modern Sambre), which we mentioned above. From this river a hill, opposite the other (lit. to this [hill]) and facing [it], rose with a similar slope, wooded in (lit. from) its higher part. Within these woods the enemy kept themselves in hiding; on the open ground along the river a few pickets of horsemen were [to be] seen. The depth of the river was about three feet. (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, II, 18 adapted)

  3. An angry lover tells himself many lies.

  4. A fool says foolish things

  5. A sure friend is perceived in an unsure situation.

  6. Laws sometimes sleep, they never die.

  7. Good laws are produced as a result of (lit. from) bad customs.

  8. Fire is not extinguished by fire (igni is ablative - see 7.1/1 note 1).

  9. A mountain can not be combined with a[nother] mountain (lit. is not mixed with; i.e. two eminent people cannot work together in complete unison).

  10. Each follows the seeds of his own nature. (Propertius, III, 9, 20)

  11. Not only is Fortune herself blind but often she makes blind even those whom she has embraced.

  12. All do not admire and love the same things.

  13. An evil is never cured by an evil nor a wound by a wound.

  14. Danger is never overcome without danger

  15. Comedy and tragedy are made up from the same alphabet (lit. letters; componitur is singular because it agrees with the nearer subject; the meaning is that comic drama and tragic drama are made from the same basic elements).

  16. Ill will follows after glory.

  17. A loss that is not known is not a loss (lit. is not lost).

  18. Each door is opened with gold.

  19. Through concord small things grow, through discord the greatest [things] disintegrate.

  20. What is not learnt in youth is not known in mature age.

  21. The sea is not normally aroused without winds.

  22. He is leading unwilling dogs to hunt (venatum is supine).

  23. Love is born from sight.

  24. Even the gods are won over by gifts.

  25. A tail gives evidence about a fox.

  26. Any speech has no power when gold is speaking (i.e. when the person addressed has been bribed).

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000