Key to Reading Unit 31

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Unit Key 30

Unit 31

  1. He (hic) who recites with his throat and neck wrapped in wool tells [us] that he cannot speak [properly] [and] that he cannot keep quiet (the subject has a cold but insists that he recites his literary efforts; recitations of one's works (recitationes) were very common in Martial's day). (Martial, VI, 41)

  2. The Stoics are convinced (lit. it has been persuaded to the Stoics) that at some time this entire universe will be destroyed by fire. (Cicero, Academica Priora, 119 adapted)

  3. I was hoping that when you had received this letter the requests that I made of you in my earlier letter would have been granted. (Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum, XVI, 16e, 2)

  4. Theophrastus when dying is said to have upbraided nature on the grounds that she had given long life to deer and crows, for whom this is of no importance, [but] so short a life to human beings, for whom this (i.e. a long life) would have been of the greatest importance; if their existence (lit. age) could have been longer, the life of human beings, with all arts brought to perfection, would have been improved by every [form of] instruction (quorum . . . erudiretur is a category 1 conditional with reference to the past in reported speech, and in order to avoid the future passive infinitive of erudio a circumlocution has been used (cf. 31.1/3); if the original had been a category 2 conditional with the reference to the future (if their existence can be longer the life of human beings will be improved) we would have had si aetas possit esse longinquior, fore ut hominum vita erudiatur; in our example, instead of fore [it to be going to be] we have futurum fuisse [it to have been going to be] to suit the category 1 conditional). (Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, III, 69)

  5. Caesar was informed by scouts that during the night everyone had left from that part of the village which he had assigned to the Gauls and that the overhanging mountains were held by a very large number of Seduni and Veragri (the indicative concesserat shows that this clause was not part of what the scouts reported). (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, III, 2, 1)

  6. Many years previously Agrippina had accepted as true that she would die in this way (lit. accepted as true this end of herself) and had attached no importance (contempserat) [to it]; for when she consulted Chaldean [astrologers] about Nero they gave the answer (lit. to her consulting Chaldeans replied) that he would rule and would kill his mother; and she said, 'Let him kill [me] provided that he rules.' (Tacitus, Annals, XIV, 9)

  7. Another extremely clear dream has been handed down as follows: when a certain two Arcadian friends were travelling together and had come to Megara, one went to lodge with an innkeeper, the other with an acquaintance. When they had dined and gone to bed (ut here means when - the subjunctive follows because of the indirect speech (17.1/2 note 4); if the passage were in direct speech ut + indicative would be used), in the early part of the night the one who was with an acquaintance thought in his sleep that the other was begging him to come to his aid (lit. that other one (illum alterum) seemed (visum esse) in sleep to the one who was with an acquaintance to be begging him . . .) because the innkeeper was preparing to kill him (lit. death was being prepared for him by the innkeeper). Terrified by the dream he at first got up, then, when he had collected himself and considered that the dream (lit. that dream) was not to be held of any account, he went back to bed. Next, when he was sleeping (lit. to him sleeping) that same person seemed to ask [him] that, since he had not come to his aid while alive, he should not allow his death to be unavenged; [he said] that after being killed he had been thrown on to a cart by the innkeeper and that dung had been thrown on top [of him]; he asked that [his friend] should be at the [town-]gate early before the cart went from the town. And indeed (vero) [the friend], aroused from sleep by this dream, was at the gate early [and] ready (praesto) for the driver. He asked him what was in the cart; the latter fled in terror; the dead man was dug out; with the matter revealed the innkeeper was punished (in this passage it is necessary to supply nouns (his friend, the latter etc.) in order to avoid confusion with pronouns; a hospes was an acquaintance in another town who provided hospitality when you visited his town and to whom you did the same when he visited yours - hospitium here means the acquaintance's house). (Cicero, de Divinatione, I, 57)

  8. When Masinissa was listening to this (lit. to Masinissa listening to this) he not only turned red but also started to cry (lit. not only did a blush come over [him] but also tears sprang up); and when he had said that he would indeed remain (lit. be) under the authority of the general and [when] he had begged him that, as far as the matter allowed, he might keep (lit. take thought for) his word [which had been] rashly pledged - for [he said] that he had promised that he would not hand her over into the power of anyone - he went from the headquarters to his own tent in a state of confusion. There, after witnesses had been removed, when he had spent some time in frequent sighing and groaning which could easily be heard by those standing round the tent, he finally, after uttering an enormous groan, called from his slaves the one faithful man in whose care, according to royal practice, poison was [kept] against the uncertainties of fortune, and ordered that [the slave] mix [poison] in a cup and take it to Sophoniba, and at the same time announce that Masinissa would have willingly performed for her the first duty which a man owed a wife (i.e. to protect her); since those in power (lit. who were able) were taking away his authority (i.e. as a husband) he was performing his second duty, [viz] that she should not come alive into the power of the Romans; she should take thought for herself, remembering her father, [who had been] a general, and her country and the two kings to whom she had been married. When the attendant, bringing this message together with the poison, came to Sophoniba, she said, 'I accept the marriage gift, and [it is] not unwelcome if my husband could not give anything greater to his wife. However, report this, that I would have died a better death (lit. died better) if I had not married at my funeral.' Her speech was not more defiant than [the way in which] she received the cup and drained it fearlessly, giving no sign of alarm (lit. she spoke not more defiantly than she drained . . . i.e. her speech and her action were equally defiant). (Livy, XXX, 15)

  9. And at the first arrival of our army the Aduatuci made frequent sallies from the town and fought with our men in very minor battles; afterwards, [as they were] fortified with a wall of fifteen miles in length and many forts, they kept themselves in the town. When, after penthouses (moveable shelters to protect the siege-workers) had been brought up [and] earthworks constructed, they saw a tower being erected at a distance, they at first laughed in mockery from the wall and made scornful remarks (irridere and increpitare are historic infinitives - 26.1/1d) about so large a machine being drawn up at so great a distance (lit. on the grounds that . . .); [they asked] with what hands indeed or with what force would men, especially ones of such small stature-for our shortness is often a source of contempt (contemptui predicative dative - 28.1/1i) for the Gauls because of the largeness of their bodies–be confident that they could place a tower of such great weight at the wall?

    However, when they saw [it] being moved and approaching the walls, alarmed by the novel and unfamiliar sight they sent envoys to Caesar about peace. These spoke in this way: [they] did not think that the Romans fought war without divine help since they were able to move up machines of such great height with such great speed; they said that they were surrendering themselves and all their possessions into the power of the Romans. They asked and begged for one thing: if by chance he (i.e. Caesar), out of his clemency and mildness, of which they themselves heard from others, had decided that the Aduatuci must be preserved, he should not deprive them of their arms. Almost all their neighbours were hostile to them and envied their courage; they would not be able to defend themselves from these if they gave up their arms. If they were reduced to that state it was preferable (praestare represents the impersonal praestat in direct speech) for them to suffer any fate at the hands of (a) the Roman people than to be tortured and killed by the people amongst whom they were accustomed to rule.

    To this Caesar replied: he was going to preserve the community more through his own practice than through their merits if they gave themselves up before the battering ram (i.e. the tower) reached the wall (with conservaturum supply esse - 17.1/2; this is a category 2 conditional - 31.1/7 note 1); but no agreement for surrender was [possible] except after their arms had been given up; he would do what he had done in [the case of] the Nervii and would order their neighbours not to inflict any (quam) injury on those who had surrendered to the Roman people (lit. on the surrendered of the Roman people). When this was reported to their people (i.e. by the envoys) they said they were doing what was ordered (lit. which [things] were being ordered). (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, II, 30)

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000