Key to Reading Unit 25

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Unit Key 26

Unit 25

  1. He who wants to eat the kernel from a nut breaks the nut.

  2. It is right to be taught even by an enemy.

  3. A wise man who is not able to be of use to himself is wise to no purpose.

  4. Where we/you have friends we/you have wealth (lit. where there are friends, there is wealth).

  5. We/you should remember the living.

  6. I hate a fellow drinker with a memory (lit. a remembering co-drinker, i.e someone who remembers the silly things we did together when drunk).

  7. Begin! To have begun is half the work (lit. half of the work).

  8. You cannot love Thetis and Galatea at the same time (i.e. it is inadvisable to have two lady friends who live in the same place; Thetis and Galatea were both sea goddesses)

  9. Right and Wrong walk with almost equal step (the first line of a poem from a collection of medieval songs, the Carmina Burana).

  10. A. You do not know me? B. I would not say no if I knew you (category one conditional sentence relating to the future where we normally have two present subjunctive; the prefect noverim is required because of the meaning of this verb - 25.1/5b). (Plautus, Menaechmi, 504)

  11. (i) 'Quintus loves Thais.’ 'Which Thais?' 'One-eyed Thais.' Thais doesn't have one eye, he [doesn't have] two. (Martial, III, 8)
    (ii) You refuse no-one, Thais, but if you are not ashamed of that, you should at least be ashamed of this, Thais, [viz] to refuse nothing. (Martial, IV, 12)
    (iii) You were able, Flaccus, to see Thais [as] so thin? You, Flaccus, I think, can see what is not [there]. (Martial, XI, 101)

  12. If I remember, you had four teeth, Aelia. A single cough knocked out two and [another] single [cough knocked out] two; now you can cough without care for whole days; a third cough has nothing that it could do there (i.e. in your mouth; agat is potential subjunctive; in line 3 totis . . . diebus is ablative to express time how long - see note on 21.6 above). (Martial, I, 19)

  13. A muleteer was sold recently for twenty thousand [sesterces], Aulus. You marvel at so large a price? He was deaf (muleteers were notorious for eavesdropping on the conversation of their master when they were driving the mules which pulled his conveyance). (Martial, XI, 38)

  14. When I didn't know you I used to call you master and king. Now I know you well; now you will be Priscus for me (Martial had tried to enlist Priscus as his patronus and used the rather extravagant terms dominus and rex, which were common in such a relationship, but his attempt seems to have been unsuccessful). (Martial, I, 112)

  15. (i) Sun, you alone are wont to give comfort.
    (ii) [The hours] pass and are debited [against us/you].
    (iii) They all wound, the last kills (i.e every hour makes us older and closer to death, and the last one finishes us off).

  16. When, after laying wars aside, Greece first began to trifle and to slide into vice with equal success, she became excited now with the pursuits of athletes, now with those of horses; she loved craftsmen of marble or of ivory or of bronze; she took joy now in flute-players, now in actors of tragedies. (Horace Epistles II, 1, 93-96, 98; Horace is here describing the flowering of the arts in fifth-century Greece after the defeat of the Persians; by using words like nugari and vitium he humorously takes the stance of an old-fashioned Roman)

  17. I hate the uninitiated mob and ward them off; show favour with your tongues. Songs not heard before, I, the priest of the Muses, sing to girls and boys. (Horace Odes III, 1, 1-4; favete linguis was a religious formula spoken when it was imperative to avoid words which might offend a divinity who was being summoned; as the best way of achieving this was to say nothing it virtually means, 'Be silent!')

  18. Meanwhile a flame eats her tender marrow and a silent wound lives beneath her breast. Unhappy Dido burns and, out of her mind (furens), wanders through the whole city (the marrow of one's bones was regard as the seat of emotions; Dido's wound is silent because she does not tell anyone of her love for Aeneas). (Vergil, Aeneid, IV, 66-69)

  19. The druids do not, by custom, take part in war and do not pay taxes together with the rest; they enjoy exemption from military service and immunity from everything. Encouraged by such great rewards many come together for training of their own accord or are sent by parents and relatives (lit. both come . . . and are sent; two groups are meant). There they are said to learn off a large number of verses. Consequently, some remain in training for twenty years. They do not consider it right to commit these matters to writing although (cum - 16.1/3g) in almost all other matters, in public and private accounts, they use the Greek alphabet (lit. Greek letters). They seem to me (i.e. Caesar) to have establish this [practice] for two reasons, because it is their desire (lit. they want) that the training should not be revealed to the people and that those who are learning should not give less attention to memory [because of] trusting in writing. Most of all, they want to persuade [people] of this, [viz] that souls do not pass away but that after death they go from [the bodies of] some to [the bodies of] others, and they consider that through this [people] are most aroused to courage when the fear of death has been disregarded. In addition, they have much discussion about the stars and their motion, about the size of the universe and the earth, about the nature of things, [and] about the strength and power of the immortal gods, and they pass [this] on to the youth. (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VI, 14 adapted)

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000