Key to Reading Unit 27

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Unit Key 28

Unit 27

  1. No mortal is wise at all times.

  2. You say that beautiful girls are on fire with love for you, Sextus, you who have the face of [some-one] swimming under water. (Martial, II, 87)

  3. You ask small things of the great, but they do not give even these. So that your shame may be lighter, Matho, ask for great things. (Martial, XI, 68)

  4. No-one lives free at your house unless he is rich and childless. No-one rents a house at a higher price, Sosibianus (S. is trying to ingratiate himself on the rich and childless so that he will inherit their property). (Martial, XI, 83)

  5. He has been caught by his own noose (on ipsius see 27.1/4a).

  6. Fortune has no stability.

  7. A witness with eyes is of more value than ten with ears.

  8. I know that this man alone is going to enjoy my joys thoroughly. (Terence, Andria, 964)

  9. Behold! In the meantime herdsmen were dragging to the king with great shouting a young man with his hands bound behind his back (manūs is accusative of respect after revinctum). (Vergil, Aeneid, II, 57f.)

  10. A mind knowing [what is] right (conscia takes an objective genitive) laughs at the lies of rumour. (Ovid, Fasti, IV, 311 adapted)

  11. here are those to whom by lot falls guard-duty at the gates, and in turn they watch for rain and clouds in the sky, or they receive the loads of those arriving, or, forming a column, they ward off the drones, a lazy swarm, from their mangers (ignavum pecus is in apposition to fucos). (Vergil, Georgics, IV, 165-168)

  12. Most questions which are relevant to life and morals have virtue as their source (lit. are derived from the font of virtue; virtutis genitive of definition). (Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, IV, 34, 3)

  13. When accused, Pausanias was acquitted of a capital charge, [but] nevertheless punished with a fine (lit. fined a [sum of] money). (Cornelius Nepos, Life of Pausanias, 2, 6)

  14. How many has the fear of divine punishment called back from crime! (Cicero, de Legibus, II, 16, 17 adapted)

  15. Before the altar we cover our heads with Phrygian cloak. (Vergil, Aeneid, III, 545)

  16. We have set out from Brundisium. Alas, I am ruined. Alas, I am shattered (lit. O me ruined. O me shattered). How am I now to ask you to come, a woman sick and worn out in body and mind? (Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares, XIV, 4, 3 adapted)

  17. When the food supply had been arranged and the soldiers re-enforced and a sufficiently long interval of time had elapsed from the battles at Dyrrachium, Caesar thought a test should be made of what intention or wish Pompey had for fighting. (Caesar, de Bello Civili, III, 84, 1 adapted)

  18. Each person in the whole of his life should not veer the width of a fingernail from [the dictates of] a good conscience. (Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, XIII, 20, 4)

  19. With this battle the war of the Veneti and of the whole sea coast was finished. For not only had all the youth [and] also all those of a more serious age in whom there was some wisdom or rank assembled there, but also they had brought together to one place all the ships they had (lit. of ships what there had been everywhere [to them]). When these were lost the remaining people had neither [a place] to which they could withdraw nor [the means] with which (lit. how) they could defend their towns. (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, III, 16, 1-3)

  20. Lucius Sicinius Dentatus triumphed nine times with his own commanders. (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, II, 11, 4)

  21. The Arcadians are said to have owned their lands before Jupiter was born, and their (lit. that) race is older than the moon (lit. was before the moon). Their life was like [that of] wild beasts [and was] spent to no purpose (lit. in accordance with no purposes); the common people were still destitute of crafts and uncivilised. Instead of houses, they used (lit. knew of) leaves, [and] grasses instead of crops. [For them] water drawn with two palms was nectar. No bull used to pant under curved plough; no land was under the rule of a cultivator. As yet horses were not used (lit. there was no use [made] of the horse); each conveyed himself. A sheep went with its body clad (lit. clad with respect of body) with its own wool. (Ovid, Fasti, II, 289-298)

  22. In this passage Ovid suggests that the mourning birds follow the practices of a Roman funeral, a feature of which was for women to beat their breasts, scratch their cheeks with their fingernails and pull out their hair. The tuba of l.6 was part of the final ceremony in which, before the funeral pyre was lit, a long straight trumpet was sounded to summon the shade of the dead.

  23. A parrot, the winged mimic from the Indians of the East, has died; birds, go in crowds to its funeral. Go, loyal birds, and beat your breasts with your wings and mark your tender cheeks with stiff claw; instead of sad hair let wild feather be torn, instead of long trumpet let your songs echo. All [you birds] who balance your flights in the liquid air (supply volucres from l.3 with omnes; as volucres is feminine plural we have quae agreeing with it), but you before others, loving turtle-dove, grieve. There was complete harmony for you [two] in all your lives and your long and steadfast loyalty remained to the end. What the Phocian youth was to Argive Orestes, that the turtle-dove was to you, parrot, while it was allowed. But what use is (iuvat is to be taken with fides, forma, vox, and placuisse) that loyalty, what use your beauty of rare colour, what use your voice, clever at changing sounds, what use to have pleased my girl when you were given [to her]? Despite this (nempe), unfortunate glory of birds, you lie [in death]. (Ovid, Amores, II, 6, 1-6, 11-20)

  24. The Gauls have this custom: (lit. there is this of Gallic custom (partitive genitive) [viz] that . . .) they both force travellers to stop, even when unwilling, and ask what each of them has heard and learnt about everything (lit. each matter); and a crowd stands around merchants in towns and forces them to say from what parts they come and what they have learnt there. Aroused by these matters and reports they often enter into deliberations about the highest affairs, which they must inevitably regret since they are slaves to uncertain rumours and most [of those interrogated] invent replies (lit. reply invented [things]) according to Gauls' wishes (lit. to the wish of those men, i.e. what the travellers and merchants see the Gauls want to hear). (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, IV, 5, 2-3 adapted)

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000