Key to Reading Unit 15

Main Index
Further Study

Unit Key 14

Unit Key 16

Unit 15

  1. Thus he (Aeneas) spoke in tears and moved back to the threshold (lit. thus he speaks crying and takes back his step to the thresholds (pl. for s.); both verbs are vivid presents) where the body of the dead Pallas had been placed and was guarded by ancient Acoetes (lit. older (i.e. than anybody else) Acoetes guarded the body of dead P. having been placed . . .) who was previously the armour-bearer to Parrhasian Evander but with not equally happy auspices then went as appointed (datus) companion to his dear ward. (Vergil, Aeneid, XI, 29-33)

  2. By chance a wild olive with bitter leaves, sacred to Faunus, had stood here, once a hallowed trunk (lit. piece of wood) for sailors, where, after being saved from the waves, they were accustomed to fasten gifts for the Laurentian god (i.e. Faunus) and hang the clothes they had vowed (on this practice see note on 29.3a, ll.13-16); but the Trojans, making no exception (lit. with no distinction, i.e. they cut down all the trees and made no exception in this case), had destroyed the sacred stump so that they could fight on an open field. (Vergil, Aeneid, XII, 767-772)

  3. After Caesar came from the Menapii to the Treveri he decided for two reasons to cross the Rhine; of these one was because the Germans had sent help for the Treveri, the other so that Ambiorix would not have a[n opportunity for] retreat to them. When these matters had been decided he set about building a bridge a little above that place where he had previously taken the army across. As the method was known and established the work was completed in a few days through the great enthusiasm of the soldiers. After leaving a strong garrison by the bridge in [the land of] the Treveri so that no sudden disturbance should arise among (lit. from) them, he took the remaining forces and cavalry across. (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VI, 9, 1-5 adapted)

  4. Fortune is content to hinder no-one [only] once.

  5. He is carrying a stone in one hand, [but] he is showing bread in the other.

  6. Fools fear Fortune, the wise endure her.

  7. What the gods wish happens quickly.

  8. A noble horse is ruled by even the shadow of a stick, an ignoble one cannot be stirred by even a spur. (Quintus Curtius, Historiae Alexandri Magni, VII, 4, 18; Curtius, a second-rate historian who probably lived in the 1st century AD, wrote an account of Alexander the Great)

  9. Many things are lacking to poverty, everything [is lacking] to avarice (i.e. a miser always wants more).

  10. [A person's] pursuits pass into his character. (Ovid, Heroides, 15, 83)

  11. He who wants to become rich, also wants to become [rich] quickly.

  12. Even those who do not want to kill anyone, want to be able [to do so].

  13. A burden which is carried properly becomes light. (Ovid, Amores, I, 2, 10)

  14. He who wants to do wrong always (lit. not never; double negatives in Latin always cancel each other) finds a reason.

  15. No-one is able to rule except [he] who [is able] to be ruled as well.

  16. Love becomes sweet by blandishment, not by ordering.

  17. What can [happen] to anyone can happen to everyone (lit. each).

  18. If the door is blocked by fire we shall leave through the wall (i.e. in a dangerous situation we will not stand on ceremony).

__________ ____________ _____________ ____________________ _____________ ____________ _____________ _______________ ___________ __________ __________ __________ _____________ ________ __ _
(c) Gavin Betts 2000