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Tacitus, Annals, 15.20-23, 33-45

 | 
Mathew Owen
, 
Ingo Gildenhard

3. Latin text with study questions and vocabulary aid

Texte intégral

[20]

11 Exim Claudius Timarchus Cretensis reus agitur, ceteris criminibus ut solent praevalidi provincialium et opibus nimiis ad iniurias minorum elati: una vox eius usque ad contumeliam senatus penetraverat, quod dictitasset in sua potestate situm an pro consulibus qui Cretam obtinuissent grates agerentur. 2 quam occasionem Paetus Thrasea ad bonum publicum vertens, postquam de reo censuerat provincia Creta depellendum, haec addidit: 3 ‘usu probatum est, patres conscripti, leges egregias, exempla honesta apud bonos ex delictis aliorum gigni. sic oratorum licentia Cinciam rogationem, candidatorum ambitus Iulias leges, magistratuum avaritia Calpurnia scita pepererunt; nam culpa quam poena tempore prior, emendari quam peccare posterius est. 4 ergo adversus novam provincialium superbiam dignum fide constantiaque Romana capiamus consilium, quo tutelae sociorum nihil derogetur, nobis opinio decedat, qualis quisque habeatur, alibi quam in civium iudicio esse.

220.1:

  • What type of genitive is provincialium?

  • Why is dictitasset in the subjunctive?

  • Parse grates.

  • The sentence contrasts (i) ceteris criminibus with una vox and (ii) ad iniuriam minorum with usque ad contumeliam senatus: what do these contrasts tell us about how Tacitus viewed the attitude of the senate towards provincial administration?

320.2:

  • Explain the syntax of depellendum.

  • What type of ablative is provincia Creta?

  • Who is Paetus Thrasea? What do his names mean? Where else in the Annals does Tacitus mention him?

420.3:

  • What are the legislative measures, which Thrasea refers to with Cincia rogatio, Iuliae leges, and Calpurnia scita? (And what is the difference between rogatio, leges, and scita?)

  • Analyse the design of nam culpa quam poena tempore prior, emendari quam peccare posterius est.

520.4:

6▪ Explain the mood of capiamus.

7Stylistic Appreciation: Looking at this chapter and in particular Tacitus’ use of language, consider how he injects a moralising excitement and republican sentiments into his account of the trial of Timarchus.

8Discussion Point: What did it take in ancient Rome for a public figure to be counted among ‘the good’ (boni)? What does it take now? Do you agree with Thrasea’s assertion that among good men the delinquencies committed by others will entail excellent laws and precedents of honourable conduct? If so, can you think of examples from recent history as evidence? If not, can you think of counter-examples?

exim

then

Cretensis, -e

Cretan (from Crete)

reus agor, agi, actus sum

I stand trial

praevalidus, -a, -um

most powerful

provincialis, -is, m.

provincial (resident of one of Rome’s provinces)

minores, -um, m.pl.

inferiors, lessers

elatus, -a, -um

(here) buoyed up, exalted

contumelia, -ae, f.

insult

penetro, -are, -avi, -atum

I reach

dictito, -are, -avi, -atum

I say frequently

situs, -a, -um

located, placed

an

whether

proconsul, -ulis, m.

proconsul (rank of Roman governor)

Creta, -ae, f.

Crete

obtineo, -ere, -ui, -tentum

(here) I hold, govern

grates ago, -ere, egi, actum

I give thanks

reus, -i, m.

defendant

censeo, -ere, -ui, censum

I propose

depello, -ere, -puli, -pulsum

I banish

usus, -us, m.

(here) experience

probo, -are, -avi, -atum

I prove (here, impersonal passive)

patres conscripti, m.pl.

senators (formal mode of address)

egregius, -a, -um

excellent

honestus, -a, -um

honourable

delictum, -i, n.

misdeed

gigno, -ere, genui, genitum

I produce

licentia, -ae, f.

corruption

rogatio, -onis, f.

legal bill

candidatus, -i, m.

electoral candidate

ambitus, -us, m.

bribery

magistratus, -us, m.

magistrate

avaritia, -ae, f.

greed

scitum, -i, n.

decree

pario, -ere, peperi, partum

I bring about, produce

culpa, -ae, f.

wrongdoing

emendo, -are, -avi, -atum

I reform (here, pass. infin. = ‘being reformed’)

pecco, -are, -avi, -atum

I commit an offence

constantia, -ae, f.

steadfastness

tutela, -ae, f.

protection

derogo, -are, -avi, -atum

I remove, subtract from

opinio, -onis, f.

idea

decedo, -ere, -cessi, -cessum

(here) I disappear, cease to exist

habeo, -ere, habui, habitum

(here) I consider, value

alibi quam

anywhere other than

iudicium, -ii, n.

judgment

[21]

91 Olim quidem non modo praetor aut consul sed privati etiam mittebantur qui provincias viserent et quid de cuiusque obsequio videretur referrent; trepidabantque gentes de aestimatione singulorum: at nunc colimus externos et adulamur, et quo modo ad nutum alicuius grates, ita promptius accusatio decernitur. 2 decernaturque et maneat provincialibus potentiam suam tali modo ostentandi: sed laus falsa et precibus expressa perinde cohibeatur quam malitia, quam crudelitas. 3 plura saepe peccantur, dum demeremur quam dum offendimus. quaedam immo virtutes odio sunt, severitas obstinata, invictus adversum gratiam animus. 4 inde initia magistratuum nostrorum meliora ferme et finis inclinat, dum in modum candidatorum suffragia conquirimus: quae si arceantur, aequabilius atque constantius provinciae regentur. nam ut metu repetundarum infracta avaritia est, ita vetita gratiarum actione ambitio cohibebitur.’

1021.1:

  • privati: to what does this refer?

  • Explain the mood of viserent and referrent.

  • Discuss the contrast Thrasea draws between olim and nunc: what has changed?

1121.2:

  • Explain the mood of decernatur, maneat, and cohibeatur.

  • What type of verb is ostento (whence ostentandi)?

  • Why does Thrasea regard dishonest praise (laus falsa) as worse than malice (malitia) and cruelty (crudelitas)? Do you agree?

1221.3:

13▪ Explain the syntax and analyse the design of severitas obstinata, invictus adversum gratiam animus.

1421.4:

  • aequabilius atque constantius: the phrase recalls a passage in Sallust (cited in the commentary). Briefly discuss the effect of this literary echo.

  • Explain the significance of the moods and tenses of regentur and cohibebitur.

15Stylistic Appreciation: Look back over the entirety of Thrasea’s speech (usu ... cohibebitur, 20.3 – 21.4). How does Tacitus make this a powerful piece of persuasive oratory?

16Discussion Point: Is Thrasea right that some virtues inspire hatred? Can you think of instances when this point has been made, or ought to have been made, to our leaders today? What do you make of Thrasea’s scorn for those who seek popularity ‘like electoral candidates’? What does it tell us about Thrasea? He seems to link the pursuit of popular approval with instability and poor governance: does he have a point? (You could consider this from a modern perspective, or from that of first-century Rome at the head of an empire.)

privatus, -i, m.

private citizen

viso, -ere, visi, visum

I visit

obsequium, -ii, n.

obedience, loyalty

trepido, -are, -avi, -atum (de)

I tremble (at)

aestimatio, -onis, f.

Judgment

singulus, -i, m.

Individual

colo, -ere, colui, cultum

I court, pander to

externus, -i, m.

foreigner

adulor, -ari, -atus sum

I flatter

nutus, -us, m.

nod

grates, -ium f. pl.

votes of thanks

ostento, -are, -avi, -atum

I demonstrate, show off

prex, precis, f.

plea, prayer

exprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressum

I exact, squeeze out

perinde ... quam...

as much as

cohibeo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I restrict

malitia, -ae, f.

wickedness, malice

pecco, -are, -avi, -atum

I commit an offence, do wrong

demereor, -eri, -itus sum

I oblige

immo

severitas, -atis, f.

in fact

strictness

obstinatus, -a, -um

stubborn

gratia, -ae, f.

(here) favour

inde

in consequence

magistratus, -us, m.

magistracy, period of office

ferme

(here) usually

inclino, -are, -avi, -atum

I go down hill

in modum (+ gen.)

like, in the manner of

suffragium, -ii, n.

vote

conquiro, -ere, -quisivi, -quisitum

I seek after

arceo, -ere, -cui, -ctum

I keep at bay

aequabilis, -e

Consistent

constans, -antis

Steady

repetundae (sc. pecuniae)

money or other things that are to be restored

from repeto

‘I demand back’

infrango, -ere, -fregi, -fractum

I crush

avaritia, -ae, f.

Greed

gratiarum actio, -onis, f.

vote of thanks

ambitio, -onis, f.

currying of favour

[22]

171 Magno adsensu celebrata sententia. non tamen senatus consultum perfici potuit, abnuentibus consulibus ea de re relatum. mox auctore principe sanxere ne quis ad concilium sociorum referret agendas apud senatum pro praetoribus prove consulibus grates, neu quis ea legatione fungeretur. 2 isdem consulibus gymnasium ictu fulminis conflagravit effigiesque in eo Neronis ad informe aes liquefacta. et motu terrae celebre Campaniae oppidum Pompei magna ex parte proruit; defunctaque virgo Vestalis Laelia, in cuius locum Cornelia ex familia Cossorum capta est.

1822.1:

  • What construction is abnuentibus consulibus?

  • With reference to the Introduction, Section 6 (on Thrasea Paetus), consider why the consuls are disinclined to let Thrasea’s proposal be put to the vote.

  • What was the concilium sociorum?

  • Why is referret in the subjunctive?

1922.2:

  • isdem consulibus: suggest an idiomatic translation for this phrase.

  • gymnasium: what is this, and what connotations does such a building have? (You may wish to include consideration of the etymology of gymnasium in your answer.)

  • Try reading out loud effigiesque in eo Neronis ad informe aes liquefacta. What do you think Tacitus’ tone of voice would be like?

  • Who were the Cornelii Cossi?

20Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus add colour to his account of the end of the year in this little chapter?

21Discussion Point: What do you make of the ‘ominous’ destruction of Nero’s Gymnasium and his effigy within? Why does Tacitus include this detail? Does he take this to be a sign of divine judgment? Do you think there is a place for ‘prodigies’ such as this in the writing of history? What are the forces that modern historians appeal to in order to impose meaningful patterns upon (amorphous) historical time?

adsensus, -us, m.

agreement

celebro, -are, -avi, -atum

senatus consultum, -i, n.

(here) I praise

decree of the senate

abnuo, -ere, -nui, -nutum

I deny

auctore principe

(abl. absol.) ‘on the emperor’s authority’

sancio, -ire, sanxi, sanctum

I enact a law (sanxere = sanxerunt)

(sociorum) concilium, -ii, n.

(provincial) council

pro praetor, -oris, m.

propraetor (rank of provincial governor)

pro consul, -ulis, m.

proconsul (rank of provincial governor)

legatio, -onis, f.

delegation

fungor, -i, functus sum (+ abl.)

I carry out

gymnasium

Gymnasium

fulmen, -inis, n.

Lightning

ictus, -us, m.

Strike

conflagro, -are, -avi, -atum

I burst into flames

effigies, -ei, f.

statue, effigy

informis, -e

shapeless

aes, aeris, n.

bronze

liquefacio, -ere, -feci, -factum

I melt

motus terrae, motus terrae, m.

Earthquake

celeber, -bris, -bre

Populous

Campania, -ae, f.

Campania (region of Italy)

Pompei, -orum, m.pl.

Pompeii

magna ex parte

to a great extent

proruo, -ere, -rui, -rutum

I collapse, am demolished

defungor, -i, -functus sum

I die

virgo Vestalis, virginis Vestalis, f.

Vestal Virgin

Cossi, -orum, m.pl.

the Cossi (a Roman family)

capio, -ere, cepi, captum

(here) I appoint

[23]

221 Memmio Regulo et Verginio Rufo consulibus natam sibi ex Poppaea filiam Nero ultra mortale gaudium accepit appellavitque Augustam dato et Poppaeae eodem cognomento. locus puerperio colonia Antium fuit, ubi ipse generatus erat. 2 iam senatus uterum Poppaeae commendaverat dis votaque publice susceperat, quae multiplicata exolutaque. et additae supplicationes templumque fecunditatis et certamen ad exemplar Actiacae religionis decretum, utque Fortunarum effigies aureae in solio Capitolini Iovis locarentur, ludicrum circense, ut Iuliae genti apud Bovillas, ita Claudiae Domitiaeque apud Antium ederetur. 3 quae fluxa fuere, quartum intra mensem defuncta infante. rursusque exortae adulationes censentium honorem divae et pulvinar aedemque et sacerdotem. atque ipse ut laetitiae, ita maeroris immodicus egit. 4 adnotatum est, omni senatu Antium sub recentem partum effuso, Thraseam prohibitum immoto animo praenuntiam imminentis caedis contumeliam excepisse. secutam dehinc vocem Caesaris ferunt qua reconciliatum se Thraseae apud Senecam iactaverit ac Senecam Caesari gratulatum: unde gloria egregiis viris et pericula gliscebant.

2323.1:

  • Who were Memmius Regulus and Verginius Rufus? Discuss the significance of the phrase Memmio Regulo et Verginio Rufo consulibus for the genre in which Tacitus is writing.

  • dato et Poppaeae eodem cognomento: what construction is this?

2423.2:

  • Parse dis.

  • Explain what certamen ad exemplar Actiacae religionis refers to.

2523.3:

  • Explain the syntax of quae and of quartum intra mensem defuncta infante.

  • Parse censentium.

2623.4:

  • State and explain the case of Thraseam.

  • apud Senecam iactaverit: why do you think Nero would have wanted to tell Seneca in particular of his mercy towards Thrasea?

  • Comment on Tacitus’ choice of the verb gliscebant here.

27Stylistic Appreciation: How in this chapter does Tacitus offer us a disturbing snapshot of the behaviour of the princeps and the senators in the reign of Nero?

28Discussion Point: ‘O homines ad servitutem paratos!’ (‘Damn these fellows so ready to be slaves!’): so the emperor Tiberius reproached the senators of his time. Does this chapter suggest a similarly slavish senate? What factors in Rome’s history and constitution led the senators to behave as they do in this chapter? Why is Tacitus so scornful of their conduct? Can you think of modern contexts – in your school, in society at large – where you might be able to observe similar forms of behaviour? What are the causes? What the consequences?

ultra (+ acc.)

beyond

appello, -are, -avi, -atum

I call

cognomentum, -i, n.

Name

puerperium, -ii, n.

childbirth

Antium, -ii, n.

Antium (modern Anzio, Nero’s birthplace)

genero, -are, -avi, -atum

I give birth to, produce

uterus, -i, m.

Womb

commendo, -are, -avi, -atum

I entrust to the protection of

votum, -i, n.

Vow

publice

(here) as a community

exsolvo, -ere, -solui, -solutum

I discharge (a vow)

supplicatio, -onis, f.

day of thanksgiving

fecunditas, -atis, f.

fertility

ad exemplar + gen.

based on the model of

Actiaca religio, -onis, f.

Festival of Actium

decerno, -ere, -crevi, -cretum

I decree

solium, -ii, n.

Throne

Capitolinus Iuppiter, Iovis, m.

Capitoline Jupiter (the greatest cult of Jupiter)

ludicrum, -i, n.

show, games

circensis, -e

of the circus

ut ... ita...

as... so...

Bovillae, -arum, f.pl.

Bovillae (a town near Rome)

edo, -ere, edidi, editum

I put on (games)

fluxus, -a, -um

transitory, short-lived

defungor, -i, -functus sum

I die

adulatio, -onis, f.

flattery

censeo, -ere, -ui, censum

I propose

pulvinar, -aris, n.

ceremonial couch (for the gods)

maeror, -oris, m.

grief

immodicus, -a, -um

excessive

adnoto, -are, -avi, -atum

I observe (here, impersonal passive)

sub (+ acc.)

(here) just after

partus, -us, m.

Birth

prohibeo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I forbid

praenuntius, -a, -um (+ gen.)

forshadowing

imminens, -entis

impending, imminent

contumelia, -ae, f.

affront, insult

dehinc

then

fero, ferre, tuli, latum

(here) I say

reconcilio, -are, -avi, -atum (+ dat.)

I reconcile (to)

iacto, -are, -avi, -atum

I boast

egregius, -a, -um

Illustrious

glisco, -ere

I grow greater, swell

[33]

291 C. Laecanio M. Licinio consulibus acriore in dies cupidine adigebatur Nero promiscas scaenas frequentandi: nam adhuc per domum aut hortos cecinerat Iuvenalibus ludis, quos ut parum celebres et tantae voci angustos spernebat. 2 non tamen Romae incipere ausus Neapolim quasi Graecam urbem delegit: inde initium fore ut transgressus in Achaiam insignesque et antiquitus sacras coronas adeptus maiore fama studia civium eliceret. 3 ergo contractum oppidanorum vulgus, et quos e proximis coloniis et municipiis eius rei fama acciverat, quique Caesarem per honorem aut varios usus sectantur, etiam militum manipuli, theatrum Neapolitanorum complent.

3033.1:

  • What type of ablative is cupidine?

  • Parse cecinerat.

3133.2:

  • Neapolim: briefly explain Nero’s reasoning in selecting this city for his first public performance.

  • Explain the syntax of inde initium fore.

3233.3:

  • What does the vocabulary of oppidanorum vulgus imply about these men?

  • What type of verb is sectantur?

33Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus’ syntax and language paint an intriguing picture of the emperor and his followers in this chapter?

34Discussion Point: The 2006 BBC series Ancient Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire claimed that aristocratic Romans’ outrage at an emperor performing on stage would be comparable to what would be felt today if the Queen became a pole-dancer. What merit is there in this comparison? What Roman prejudices emerge in this chapter? Would Tacitus’ distaste for Nero’s theatrical tendencies have been universally shared?

in dies

day by day

cupido, -inis, f.

desire

adigo, -ere, -egi, -actum

I drive on

promiscus, -a, -um

public

scaena, -ae, f.

stage

frequento, -are, -avi, -atum

I appear frequently

Iuvenales ludi, -ium -orum, m.pl.

the Juvenile Games

ut

(here) as

parum

insufficiently

celeber, -bris, -bre

well-attended

angustus, -a, -um

limited

Neapolis (Gk acc. -im), f.

Neapolis (Naples)

quasi

as it were

deligo, -ere, -legi, -lectum

I choose

Achaia, -ae, f.

Achaea (Roman province of mainland Greece)

insignis, -e

Famous

antiquitus

from of old, long-...

corona, -ae, f.

garland

studium, -ii, n.

enthusiasm

elicio, -ere, -licui, -licitum

I win, elicit

contraho, -ere, -traxi, -tractum

I assemble

oppidanus, -i, m.

Townsman

municipium, -ii, n.

Town

accio, -ire, accivi, accitum

I summon

usus, -us, m.

(here) duty, function

sector, -ari, -atus sum

I follow in the train of

manipulus, -i, m.

a maniple, a company (military unit)

Neapolitani, -orum, m.pl.

Neapolitans, citizens of Neapolis

compleo, -ere, -plevi, -pletum

I fill

[34]

351 Illic, plerique ut arbitrabantur, triste, ut ipse, providum potius et secundis numinibus evenit: nam egresso qui adfuerat populo vacuum et sine ullius noxa theatrum conlapsum est. ergo per compositos cantus grates dis atque ipsam recentis casus fortunam celebrans petiturusque maris Hadriae traiectus apud Beneventum interim consedit, ubi gladiatorium munus a Vatinio celebre edebatur. 2 Vatinius inter foedissima eius aulae ostenta fuit, sutrinae tabernae alumnus, corpore detorto, facetiis scurrilibus; primo in contumelias adsumptus, dehinc optimi cuiusque criminatione eo usque valuit ut gratia pecunia vi nocendi etiam malos praemineret.

3634.1:

  • State and explain the case of secundis numinibus.

  • Parse casus.

  • What is striking about the phrase maris Hadriae?

  • What does ‘Beneventum’ mean and how does Tacitus play with the name?

3734.2:

  • What type of ablative is corpore?

  • What type of clause is ut introducing here?

  • What type of ablatives are gratia pecunia vi nocendi? What makes this phrase particularly effective?

38Stylistic Appreciation: With reference to Tacitus’ choice and position of words and other stylistic features, discuss how this chapter contributes to an impression of the perversity of Nero and his court.

39Discussion Point: Why does Vatinius appal Tacitus so much? What about imperial Rome made figures such as Vatinius possible? Are there any comparable figures in later history or in the present day? What do you make of the link between physical and moral deformity: is physiognomy entirely dead in modern popular thought?

arbitror, -ari, -atus sum

I think

providus, -a, -um

providential, a sign of good omen

secundus, -a, -um

favourable

numen, -inis, n.

(here) will of the gods

noxa, -ae, f.

harm

theatrum, -i, n.

heater

conlabor, -i, -lapsus sum

I collapse

per (+ acc.)

(here) in, by

compositus, -a, -um

written, made up, composed

cantus, -us, m.

song

grates, ium f. pl.

thanks rendered, thanksgiving

casus, -us, m.

accident

celebro, -are, -avi, -atum

I celebrate

petiturus (fut. partic. of peto)

‘as he was on his way to’

traiectus, -us, m.

Crossing

consido, -ere, -sedi, -sessum

I rest, sit down

munus, -eris, n.

(here) a (public) show

celeber, -bris, -bre

crowded, well-attended

edo, -ere, edidi, editum

I put on (a show)

foedus, -a, -um

Foul

aula, -ae, f.

Court

ostentum, -i, n.

marvel, wonder

sutrina taberna, -ae, f.

shoemaker’s shop

alumnus, -a, -um (+ gen.)

brought up in

detortus, -a, -um

deformed

facetiae, -arum, f.pl.

sense of humour, wit

scurrilis, -e

scurrilous, offensive

in contumelias

‘as the butt of insults’

adsumo, -ere, -sumpsi, -sumptum

I take on

dehinc

Subsequently

criminatio, -onis, f.

Accusation

valeo, -ere, -ui

I am powerful

gratia, -ae, f.

influence

mali, -orum, m.pl.

‘crooks’ (refers to Nero’s courtiers)

praemineo, -ere

I outdo, surpass, am pre-eminent

[35]

401 Eius munus frequentanti Neroni ne inter voluptates quidem a sceleribus cessabatur. isdem quippe illis diebus Torquatus Silanus mori adigitur, quia super Iuniae familiae claritudinem divum Augustum abavum ferebat. 2 iussi accusatores obicere prodigum largitionibus, neque aliam spem quam in rebus novis esse: quin inter libertos habere quos ab epistulis et libellis et rationibus appellet, nomina summae curae et meditamenta. 3 tum intimus quisque libertorum vincti abreptique; et cum damnatio instaret, brachiorum venas Torquatus interscidit; secutaque Neronis oratio ex more, quamvis sontem et defensioni merito diffisum victurum tamen fuisse si clementiam iudicis exspectasset.

4135.1:

  • Parse frequentanti.

  • State and explain the case of isdem ... illis diebus and discuss the effect of having two attributes (isdem and illis).

  • Briefly outline who Torquatus Silanus is. What reasons does Nero have for wanting him to be killed?

4235.2:

  • Explain why Torquatus’ employment of the titles ab epistulis, a libellis and a rationibus was dangerous.

  • What type of genitive is summae curae?

4335.3:

  • State and explain the case of defensioni.

  • Parse victurum.

  • Who is referred to by iudicis? How would you describe Tacitus’ tone here?

44Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus make this short passage a terrifying glimpse of Neronian Rome?

45Discussion Point: To what extent, if any, do you think Torquatus is to blame for what happened to him? What does this episode reveal about the nature of monarchy in Rome under Nero? Or about monarchy in general? Do any similar episodes spring to mind from ancient or modern history?

munus, -eris, n.

(here) a (public) show

frequento, -are, -avi, -atum

I attend

voluptas, -atis, f.

Pleasure

cesso, -are, -avi, -atum

I cease, rest

quipped

for in fact

adigo, -ere, -egi, -actum

I force

super (+ acc.)

in addition to

Iunia familia, -ae, f.

the Junian family (Torquatus’ family)

claritudo, -inis, f.

distinction, fame

divus, -a, -um

divine

abavus, -i, m.

great-great-grandfather

fero, ferre, tuli, latum

(here) I claim

obicio, -ere, -ieci, -iectum

I bring a charge

prodigus, -a, -um (sc. esse)

extravagant

largitio, -onis, f.

hand-out, largesse

res novae, rerum novarum, f.pl.

revolution

quin

moreover that he... (ind. stat. continues)

ab epistulis

‘for letters’ – a label designating

‘Private Secretary’

(a) libellis

‘for petitions’ – label designating

‘Petitions Secretary

(a) rationibus

‘for book-keeping’ – label designating

‘Accountant’

appello, -are, -avi, -atum

I call

cura, -ae, f.

(here) administration

meditamentum, -i, n.

training exercise; first step on the path

to [summa cura]

intimus, -a, -um

most intimate

vincio, -ire, vinxi, vinctum

I tie up, put in chains

abripio, -ere, -ripui, -reptum

I tear away

damnatio, -onis, f.

condemnation

insto, -are, -stiti, -statum

I am at hand

brachium, -ii, n.

arm

vena, -ae, f.

vein

interscindo, -ere, -scidi, -scissum

I sever

ex more

as usual

Quamvis

although

sons, sontis

guilty (referring to Torquatus)

defensio, -onis, f.

defence

Merito

with good reason

diffisus, -a, -um (+ dat.)

without confidence in

vivo, -ere, vixi, victum

I live (fut. partic. = victurus)

clementia, -ae, f.

mercy

[36]

461 Nec multo post omissa in praesens Achaia (causae in incerto fuere) urbem revisit, provincias Orientis, maxime Aegyptum, secretis imaginationibus agitans. dehinc edicto testificatus non longam sui absentiam et cuncta in re publica perinde immota ac prospera fore, super ea profectione adiit Capitolium. 2 illic veneratus deos, cum Vestae quoque templum inisset, repente cunctos per artus tremens, seu numine exterrente, seu facinorum recordatione numquam timore vacuus, deseruit inceptum, cunctas sibi curas amore patriae leviores dictitans. 3 vidisse maestos civium vultus, audire secretas querimonias, quod tantum itineris aditurus esset, cuius ne modicos quidem egressus tolerarent, sueti adversum fortuita aspectu principis refoveri. ergo ut in privatis necessitudinibus proxima pignora praevalerent, ita populum Romanum vim plurimam habere parendumque retinenti. 4 haec atque talia plebi volentia fuere, voluptatum cupidine et, quae praecipua cura est, rei frumentariae angustias, si abesset, metuenti. senatus et primores in incerto erant procul an coram atrocior haberetur: dehinc, quae natura magnis timoribus, deterius credebant quod evenerat.

4736.1:

  • What type of ablative is multo?

  • What is the Capitolium and what is its significance?

4836.2:

  • illic ... inceptum: analyse how the syntax of this sentence helps to articulate its sense.

  • What type of ablative is amore?

4936.3:

  • What are the tenses of the infinitives vidisse ... audire? What do you think the change of tense conveys? What construction here necessitates the use of infinitives?

  • State and explain the case of itineris.

  • What type of gerundive is parendum?

5036.4:

51▪ State and explain the mood of haberetur.

52Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus create in this chapter a powerfully damning account of the hypocrisy and corruption of both ruler and ruled in the time of Nero?

53Discussion Point: In this chapter Tacitus seems to delve deep into Nero’s psychology, reporting his secret hopes and his greatest fears: is this within a historian’s remit? What aspects of the relationship between the emperor and the people does Tacitus want us to dwell on? Do you accept Tacitus’ scathing judgment on the selfish priorities of the plebs?

omitto, -ere, -misi, -missum

I leave aside

in incerto

uncertain, a matter of debate

Oriens, -entis, m.

the East

imaginatio, -onis, f.

imagination

agito, -are, -avi, -atum

I mull over

dehinc

then

edictum, -i, n.

public proclamation

testificor, -ari, -atus sum

I declare

perinde ... ac...

as much... as...

super (+ abl.)

about

profectio, -onis, f.

departure

Capitolium, -ii, n.

the Capitoline Hill

veneror, -ari, -atus sum

I worship

artus, -us, m.

limb

tremo, -ere, -ui

I tremble

numen, -inis, n.

divine power, divinity

recordatio, -onis, f.

remembrance

desero, -ere, -ui, -sertum

I abandon

inceptum, -i, n.

purpose, undertaking

levis, -e (here)

unimportant

dictito, -are, -avi, -atum

I say repeatedly

querimonia, -ae, f.

complaint

modicus, -a, -um (here)

brief

egressus, -us, m.

excursion, trip

tolero, -are, -avi, -atum

I bear, endure

suetus, -a, -um

accustomed

fortuita, -orum, n.pl.

misfortunes

aspectus, -us, m.

sight

refoveo, -ere, -fovi, -fotum

I revive

ut ... ita...

just as... so...

necessitudo, -inis, f.

relationship

pignus, -oris, n.

tie, bond

praevaleo, -ere, -ui

I have superior force, prevail

volens, -entis (here)

welcome

voluptas, -atis, f.

pleasure

cupido, -inis, f.

desire

praecipuus, -a, -um

greatest, especial

res frumentaria, rei frumentariae, f.

corn supply

angustiae, -arum, f.pl.

shortage

metuo, -ere, -ui, -utum

I fear

primores, -um, m.pl.

leading men

coram (adv.)

among them, close at hand

habeo, -ere, -ui, -itum (here)

I consider

quae natura (sc. est)

as is the usual way

deterius

(here) the worse alternative

[37]

541 Ipse quo fidem adquireret nihil usquam perinde laetum sibi, publicis locis struere convivia totaque urbe quasi domo uti. et celeberrimae luxu famaque epulae fuere quas a Tigellino paratas ut exemplum referam, ne saepius eadem prodigentia narranda sit. 2 igitur in stagno Agrippae fabricatus est ratem cui superpositum convivium navium aliarum tractu moveretur. naves auro et ebore distinctae, remigesque exoleti per aetates et scientiam libidinum componebantur. volucres et feras diversis e terris et animalia maris Oceano abusque petiverat. 3 crepidinibus stagni lupanaria adstabant inlustribus feminis completa et contra scorta visebantur nudis corporibus. iam gestus motusque obsceni; et postquam tenebrae incedebant, quantum iuxta nemoris et circumiecta tecta consonare cantu et luminibus clarescere. 4 ipse per licita atque inlicita foedatus nihil flagitii reliquerat quo corruptior ageret, nisi paucos post dies uni ex illo contaminatorum grege (nomen Pythagorae fuit) in modum solemnium coniugiorum denupsisset. inditum imperatori flammeum, missi auspices, dos et genialis torus et faces nuptiales, cuncta denique spectata quae etiam in femina nox operit.

5537.1:

  • What polarity in Roman thought is Tacitus dwelling on in the first sentence?

  • Explain the use of the infinitives struere and uti.

  • Who is Tigellinus?

5637.2:

  • Explain the mood of moveretur.

  • How does the phrase Oceano abusque conjure an atmosphere of exoticism?

5737.3:

  • What is effective in the syntax of iam gestus motusque obsceni?

  • What type of genitive is nemoris?

5837.4:

  • Parse denupsisset. What is significant about Tacitus’ use of this verb?

  • Briefly explain the references to: flammeum; auspices; genialis torus. What do you think is the effect of these densely-packed terms from the ritual lexicon of Roman marriage?

59Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus generate an overpowering atmosphere of debauchery and decadence in his account of Tigellinus’ banquet?

60Discussion Point: Which tenets of traditional Roman morality are broken in this banquet? Is the sexual misconduct of leaders a perennial source of scandal? Does Tacitus’ evident outrage at this banquet come from the same angle as ours at similar stories today? (What, for instance, are the similarities, what the differences between Nero’s orgy and modern ‘bunga bunga’ parties?)

adquiro, -ere, -quisivi, -quisitum

I win

perinde

as

struo, -ere, struxi, structum

I set up

convivium, -ii, n.

banquet

celeber, -bris, -bre (+ abl.)

(here) celebrated for

luxus, -us, m.

luxury

epulae, -arum, f.pl.

banquet

prodigentia, -ae, f.

extravagance, ‘prodigality’

stagnum, -i, n.

lake

fabricor, -ari, -atus sum

I construct

ratis, -is, f.

raft, ship

tractus, -us, m.

towing

ebur, eboris, n.

ivory

distinctus, -a, -um

embellished

remex, -igis, m.

rower

exoletus, -a, -um

degenerate, perverted [ppp of exolesco, -ere]

volucris, -is, m.

bird

fera, -ae, f.

wild beast

abusque (+ abl.)

all the way from

crepido, -inis, f.

bank, quayside

lupanar, -aris, n.

brothel

inlustris, -e

noble

completus, -a, -um (+ abl.)

filled with

scortum, -i, n.

(low-class) prostitute, whore

visor, -i, visus sum

(here) I am on view

gestus, -us, m.

gesture

obscenus, -a, -um

filthy

iuxta

nearby

nemus, -oris, n.

grove

circumiectus, -a, -um

surrounding

consono, -are, -ui

I resound

claresco, -ere, -ui

I shine

(in)licitus, -a, -um

(un)lawful

foedo, -are, -avi, -atum

I defile, pollute

flagitium, -ii, n.

outrage, abomination

corruptus, -a, -um

depraved

contaminatus, -a, -um

perverted (contaminati, m.pl. = perverts)

grex, gregis, m.

herd

in modum (+ gen.)

in the manner of

coniugium, -ii, n.

marriage

denubo, -ere, -psi, -ptum (+ dat.)

I marry (of a woman marrying a man)

indo, -ere, -didi, -ditum

I put on

flammeum, -i, n.

bridal veil

auspex, -icis, m.

soothsayer

dos, dotis, f.

dowry

genialis torus, -i, m.

marriage bed

(nuptialis) fax, facis, f.

(wedding) torch

operio, -ire, operui, opertum

I hide

[38]

611 Sequitur clades, forte an dolo principis incertum (nam utrumque auctores prodidere), sed omnibus quae huic urbi per violentiam ignium acciderunt gravior atque atrocior. 2 initium in ea parte circi ortum quae Palatino Caelioque montibus contigua est, ubi per tabernas, quibus id mercimonium inerat quo flamma alitur, simul coeptus ignis et statim validus ac vento citus longitudinem circi corripuit. neque enim domus munimentis saeptae vel templa muris cincta aut quid aliud morae interiacebat. 3 impetu pervagatum incendium plana primum, deinde in edita adsurgens et rursus inferiora populando, antiit remedia velocitate mali et obnoxia urbe artis itineribus hucque et illuc flexis atque enormibus vicis, qualis vetus Roma fuit. 4 ad hoc lamenta paventium feminarum, fessa aetate aut rudis pueritiae, quique sibi quique aliis consulebant, dum trahunt invalidos aut opperiuntur, pars mora, pars festinans, cuncta impediebant. 5 et saepe dum in tergum respectant lateribus aut fronte circumveniebantur, vel si in proxima evaserant, illis quoque igni correptis, etiam quae longinqua crediderant in eodem casu reperiebant. 6 postremo, quid vitarent quid peterent ambigui, complere vias, sterni per agros; quidam amissis omnibus fortunis, diurni quoque victus, alii caritate suorum, quos eripere nequiverant, quamvis patente effugio interiere. 7 nec quisquam defendere audebat, crebris multorum minis restinguere prohibentium, et quia alii palam faces iaciebant atque esse sibi auctorem vociferabantur, sive ut raptus licentius exercerent seu iussu.

6238.1:

  • Parse prodidere.

  • What type of ablative is omnibus?

6338.2:

  • Comment on Tacitus’ selection of the word mercimonium.

  • State and explain the case of morae.

6438.3:

65▪ How is Tacitus’ use of verbs in this sentence particularly effective?

6638.4:

67▪ State and explain the case of rudis pueritiae.

6838.5:

69▪ Parse circumveniebantur.

7038.6:

71▪ Explain the mood of vitarent.

7238.7:

73▪ What type of dative is sibi?

74Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus’ language in this chapter make the outbreak of the Great Fire both dramatic and moving?

75Discussion Point: Did Nero start the Fire? If not, is Tacitus right to raise the possibility he did? Does he want us to believe that Nero was behind it? Can you think of contemporary examples of ‘insinuation’ (maybe from journalism)?

prodo, -ere, -didi, -ditum

(here) I record

circus, -i, m.

the Circus Maximus (Rome’s race track)

contiguus, -a, -um

adjoining to, next to

mercimonium, -ii, n.

wares

alo, -ere, alui, alitum

I feed, nourish

citus, -a, -um

swift

longitudo, -inis, f.

length

corripio, -ere, -ripui, -reptum

I seize, tear into

munimentum, -i, n.

solid defences

saeptus, -a, -um

fenced in

cinctus, -a, -um

surrounded

pervagor, -ari, -atus sum

I spread over, traverse

plana, -orum, n.pl.

the level ground

edita, -orum, n.pl.

higher areas

inferiora, -um, n.pl.

lower parts

populor, -ari, -atus sum

I ravage

anteeo, -ire, -ivi/ -ii, -itum

I outstrip

remedium, -ii, n.

(here) counter-measures

velocitas, -atis, f.

speed

obnoxius, -a, -um

vulnerable

artus, -a, -um

narrow

enormis, -e

irregular

vicus, -i, m.

street

lamentum, -i, n.

lamentation

paveo, -ere

I am frightened

rudis, -e

inexperienced, tender

opperior, -iri, oppertus sum

I wait for

evado, -ere, -vasi, -vasum

I escape

reperio, -ire, repperi, -rtum

I find

longinquus, -a, -um

remote

casus, -us, m.

(here) situation

ambiguus, -a, -um

uncertain

compleo, -ere, -plevi, -pletum

I fill

sternor, -i, stratus sum

I fling myself down

diurus, -a, -um

daily

victus, -us, m.

food

caritas, -atis, f.

love

nequeo, -ere, -ivi, -itum

I am unable

quamvis

although

pateo, -ere, -ui

I lie open

effugium, -ii, n.

escape

intereo, -ire, -ii, -itum

I die

mina, -ae, f.

threat

restinguo, -ere, -stinxi, -stinctum

I extinguish

fax, facis, f.

torch

auctor, -oris, m.

(here) authority

vociferor, -ari, -atus sum

I yell

raptus, -us, m.

looting

licenter

freely

exerceo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I carry out

[39]

761 Eo in tempore Nero Antii agens non ante in urbem regressus est quam domui eius, qua Palatium et Maecenatis hortos continuaverat, ignis propinquaret. neque tamen sisti potuit quin et Palatium et domus et cuncta circum haurirentur. 2 sed solacium populo exturbato ac profugo campum Martis ac monumenta Agrippae, hortos quin etiam suos patefecit et subitaria aedificia extruxit quae multitudinem inopem acciperent; subvectaque utensilia ab Ostia et propinquis municipiis pretiumque frumenti minutum usque ad ternos nummos. 3 quae quamquam popularia in inritum cadebant, quia pervaserat rumor ipso tempore flagrantis urbis inisse eum domesticam scaenam et cecinisse Troianum excidium, praesentia mala vetustis cladibus adsimulantem.

7739.1:

  • What is the case of Antii?

  • To what imperial residence does Tacitus refer here? What is the Palatium?

  • Parse haurirentur and explain its mood.

7839.2:

  • How does solacium fit into this sentence grammatically?

  • What is Ostia?

7939.3:

  • State and explain the case of ipso tempore.

  • Parse adsimulantem. With which word is it agreeing in this sentence?

80Stylistic Appreciation: How does this passage present a fascinating account of Nero’s reaction to the Fire?

81Discussion Point: What are we to make of Tacitus’ sudden change of tack in his treatment of Nero? Is your picture of the emperor altered by this chapter? ‘Fiddling while Rome burns’ has become proverbial: is it fair that Nero should be best remembered in this context? What elements of Nero’s response to the fire are recognizable from modern disaster relief? Nero’s practical and popular relief measures failed to alter public perception of the emperor: why? Can you think of other historical or modern examples, in which practical relief measures and political campaigning became intertwined?

ago, -ere, egi, actum

(here) I stay, spend time

Palatium, -ii, n.

Palatine Hill

Maecenatis horti, -orum, m.pl.

Gardens of Maecenas

continuo, -are, -avi, -atum

I connect

propinquo, -are, -avi, -atum

I approach

sisto, -ere, stiti, statum

I stop

haurio, -ire, hausi, haustum

I consume

solacium, -ii, n.

consolation, relief

exturbatus, -a, -um

driven out

profugus, -a, -um

homeless

monumentum, -i, n.

public building

quin etiam

and even

patefacio, -ere, -feci, -factum

I throw open

subitarius, -a, -um

makeshift, emergency

inops, -opis

destitute

extruo, -ere, -xi, -ctum

I put up

subveho, -ere, -vexi, -vectum

I carry up

utensilia, -ium, n.pl.

provisions

Ostia, -ae, f.

Ostia (Rome’s port)

propinquus, -a, -um

neighbouring

municipium, -ii, n.

town

minuo, -ere, -ui, -utum

I reduce

usque ad

right down to

terni, -ae, -a

three

nummus, -i, m.

sesterce (Roman coin)

in inritum

to no effect

pervado, -ere, -vasi, -vasum

I spread

flagro, -are, -avi, -atum

I blaze

domesticus, -a, -um

private, domestic

scaena, -ae, f.

stage

Troianus, -a, -um

of Troy

excidium, -ii, n.

destruction

vetustus, -a, -um

ancient

adsimulo, -are, -avi, -atum

I compare

[40]

821 Sexto demum die apud imas Esquilias finis incendio factus, prorutis per immensum aedificiis ut continuae violentiae campus et velut vacuum caelum occurreret. necdum positus metus aut redierat plebi spes: rursum grassatus ignis patulis magis urbis locis; eoque strages hominum minor, delubra deum et porticus amoenitati dicatae latius procidere. 2 plusque infamiae id incendium habuit quia praediis Tigellini Aemilianis proruperat videbaturque Nero condendae urbis novae et cognomento suo appellandae gloriam quaerere. quippe in regiones quattuordecim Roma dividitur, quarum quattuor integrae manebant, tres solo tenus deiectae: septem reliquis pauca tectorum vestigia supererant, lacera et semusta.

8340.1:

  • State and explain the case of aedificiis.

  • Why is violentiae in the dative?

  • Parse hominum.

8440.2:

  • What type of genitive is infamiae?

  • State and explain the case of solo.

  • Parse supererant.

85Stylistic Appreciation: Analyse how Tacitus uses language to dramatize the losses in the second fire.

86Discussion Point: How do you think Nero’s demolition of buildings to make fire-breaks was received? Considering how Nero was to use the land cleared of houses after the Fire, is it understandable that conspiracy theories arose about his involvement? When have similar theories been popularised in recent times? Is Tacitus right to record this sort of rumour in his Annals?

demum

at last

imus, -a, -um

foot of

Esquiliae, -arum, f.pl.

Esquiline Hill

proruo, -ere, -rui, -rutum

I demolish

per immensum

‘over a vast area’

continuus, -a, -um

relentless

violentia, -ae, f.

violence

velut

as it were

occurro, -ere, -curri, -cursum (+ dat.)

I block, resist

necdum

not yet

pono, -ere, posui, positum

(here) I lay aside

grassor, -ari, -atus sum

I run riot

patulus, -a, -um

spacious, open

strages, -is, f.

slaughter, destruction

delubrum, -i, n.

temple

porticus, -us, f.

colonnade

amoenitas, -atis, f.

enjoyment

dicatus, -a, -um (+ dat.)

dedicated to

procido, -ere, -cidi, -cisum

I fall, am destroyed

infamia, -ae, f.

scandal

praedium, -ii, n.

estate

Aemilianus, -a, -um

Aemilian

prorumpo, -ere, -rupi, -ruptum

I break out

condo, -ere, -didi, -ditum

I found (a city)

cognomentum, -i, n.

name

quippe

indeed

regio, -onis, f.

district

integer, -ra, -rum

undamaged

solum, -i, n.

ground

tenus (+ abl.)

as far as, down to

vestigium, -ii, n.

trace

lacer, -era, -erum

mangled

semustus, -a, -um

half-burnt

[41]

871 Domuum et insularum et templorum quae amissa sunt numerum inire haud promptum fuerit: sed vetustissima religione, quod Servius Tullius Lunae et magna ara fanumque quae praesenti Herculi Arcas Evander sacraverat, aedesque Statoris Iovis vota Romulo Numaeque regia et delubrum Vestae cum Penatibus populi Romani exusta; iam opes tot victoriis quaesitae et Graecarum artium decora, exim monumenta ingeniorum antiqua et incorrupta, ut quamvis in tanta resurgentis urbis pulchritudine multa seniores meminerint quae reparari nequibant. 2 fuere qui adnotarent XIIII Kal. Sextiles principium incendii huius ortum, quo et Senones captam urbem inflammaverint. alii eo usque cura progressi sunt ut totidem annos mensesque et dies inter utraque incendia numerent.

8841.1:

  • numerum inire haud promptum fuerit: what do you think this suggests about the number of buildings destroyed?

  • What kind of ablative is vetustissima religione?

  • Pick out and briefly comment on the significance of two of the sacred sites mentioned by Tacitus.

8941.2:

  • Explain the mood of adnotarent.

  • What type of clause is introduced by eo usque ... ut...?

90Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus’ use of language in this passage invest his account of the fire’s destruction with drama and pathos?

91Discussion Point: Why does Tacitus select the monuments and works of art he does for mention in this chapter? What about them contributes to the sense of irreparable loss he is evoking? To what extent is the attitude of the seniores here recognizable? And of those who observed the rather contrived coincidences? Why do you think Tacitus includes this sort of bizarre observation in his history?

insula, -ae, f.

block of flats

numerum ineo, -ire, -ii

I reach a number, count

promptus, -a, -um

easy

vetustus, -a, -um

old, ancient

religio, -onis, f.

holiness, sanctity

ara, -ae, f.

altar

fanum, -i, n.

shrine

Hercules, -is, m.

Hercules

Arcas, -adis

Arcadian (from Arcadia, region of Greece)

sacro, -are, -avi, -atum

I consecrate

Stator, -oris, m.

‘the Stayer’ (a title of Jupiter)

voveo, -ere, vovi, votum

I vow, devote

Numa, -ae, m.

(second king of Rome)

regia, -ae, f.

palace

delubrum, -i, n.

shrine

Penates, -ium, m.pl.

household gods

exuro, -ere, -ussi, -ustum

I burn

decus, -oris, n.

glory, pride

exim

then

monumentum, -i, n.

monument

ingenium, -ii, n.

(here) man of genius

incorruptus, -a, -um

undamaged

quamvis

although

pulchritudo, -inis, f.

beauty

resurgo, -ere, -surrexi, -surrectum

I recover, rise again

seniores, -um, m.pl.

older men

memini, -isse

I remember

reparo, -are, -avi, -atum

I restore

nequeo, -ire, -ivi, -itum

I am unable

adnoto, -are, -avi, -atum

I notice

principium, -ii, n.

beginning

Senones, -um, m.pl.

the Senonian Gauls

inflammo, -are, -avi, -atum

I set fire to

cura, -ae, f.

study

totidem

the same number of

numero, -are, -avi, -atum

I count

[42]

921 Ceterum Nero usus est patriae ruinis extruxitque domum in qua haud proinde gemmae et aurum miraculo essent, solita pridem et luxu vulgata, quam arva et stagna et in modum solitudinum hinc silvae inde aperta spatia et prospectus, magistris et machinatoribus Severo et Celere, quibus ingenium et audacia erat etiam quae natura denegavisset per artem temptare et viribus principis inludere. 2 namque ab lacu Averno navigabilem fossam usque ad ostia Tiberina depressuros promiserant squalenti litore aut per montes adversos. neque enim aliud umidum gignendis aquis occurrit quam Pomptinae paludes: cetera abrupta aut arentia ac, si perrumpi possent, intolerandus labor nec satis causae. Nero tamen, ut erat incredibilium cupitor, effodere proxima Averno iuga conisus est; manentque vestigia inritae spei.

9342.1:

  • Analyse the design of Nero usus est patriae ruinis extruxitque domum, thinking particularly about the contrasts Tacitus is drawing.

  • State and explain the case of miraculo. What does the subjunctive essent indicate here?

  • What type of dative is quibus?

9442.2:

  • Parse depressuros.

  • How does Tacitus’ choice and position of words in squalenti litore aut per montes adversos convey the difficulty of this project?

95Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus underscore the extravagance and vanity of Nero’s building programme after the fire?

96Discussion Point: What are we to make of the contrast between ars and natura in this chapter? Have you encountered this polarity elsewhere in the classical world? Was it admirable to be an incredibilium cupitor? Is it admirable now? Nero was the last emperor of his dynasty (the Julio-Claudians); the emperors of the next (Flavian) dynasty built all over Nero’s great rus in urbe. Why do you think they did this? How might the fact that the dynasty to which Nero belonged ended with his death have affected our understanding of him?

ceterum

but

ruina, -ae, f.

destruction

proinde ... quam...

so much... as...

gemma, -ae, f.

jewel

miraculum, -i, n.

source of wonder

solitus, -a, -um

familiar

pridem

for a long time

luxus, -us, m.

luxury

vulgo, -are, -avi, -atum

I popularise, make common

arvum, -i, n.

field

stagnum, -i, n.

lake

in modum (+ gen.)

in the manner of

solitudo, -inis, f.

wildnerness

hinc ... inde...

on this side... on that side...

prospectus, -us, m.

view

magister, -ri, m.

(here) architect

machinator, -oris, m.

engineer

audacia, -ae, f.

boldness

denego, -are, -avi, -atus

I refuse

tempto, -are, -avi, -atum

I try

vires, -ium, f.pl.

(here) wealth, resources

inludo, -ere, -lusi, -lusum (+ dat.)

I fool away, squander

Avernus lacus, -us, m.

lake Avernus (in the Bay of Naples)

navigabilis, -e

navigable

fossa, -ae, f.

(here) canal

ostium, -ii, n.

mouth (of a river)

Tiberinus, -a, -um

of the river Tiber

deprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressum

I sink, dig out

squalens, -entis

barren

adversus, -a, -um

(here) intervening

umidus, -a, -um

moist

occurro, -ere, -curri, -cursum

I occur

Pomptinae paludes, -um, f.pl.

the Pomptine marshes

abruptus, -a, -um

sheer

arens, -entis

dry

intolerandus, -a, -um

unendurable

incredibilis, -e

impossible, incredible

cupitor, -oris, m.

lover of, enthusiast for

iugum, -i, n.

hill

conitor, -i, -nisus sum

I strive

vestigium, -ii, n.

trace

inritus, -a, -um

vain

[43]

971 Ceterum urbis quae domui supererant non, ut post Gallica incendia, nulla distinctione nec passim erecta, sed dimensis vicorum ordinibus et latis viarum spatiis cohibitaque aedificiorum altitudine ac patefactis areis additisque porticibus quae frontem insularum protegerent. 2 eas porticus Nero sua pecunia extructurum purgatasque areas dominis traditurum pollicitus est. addidit praemia pro cuiusque ordine et rei familiaris copiis finivitque tempus intra quod effectis domibus aut insulis apiscerentur. 3 ruderi accipiendo Ostienses paludes destinabat utique naves quae frumentum Tiberi subvectassent onustae rudere decurrerent; aedificiaque ipsa certa sui parte sine trabibus saxo Gabino Albanove solidarentur, quod is lapis ignibus impervius est; 4 iam aqua privatorum licentia intercepta quo largior et pluribus locis in publicum flueret, custodes; et subsidia reprimendis ignibus in propatulo quisque haberet; nec communione parietum, sed propriis quaeque muris ambirentur. 5 ea ex utilitate accepta decorem quoque novae urbi attulere. erant tamen qui crederent veterem illam formam salubritati magis conduxisse, quoniam angustiae itinerum et altitudo tectorum non perinde solis vapore perrumperentur: at nunc patulam latitudinem et nulla umbra defensam graviore aestu ardescere.

9843.1:

  • How does the design of dimensis vicorum ordinibus et latis viarum spatiis cohibitaque aedificiorum altitudine suggest the imposition of order?

  • Explain the mood of protegerent.

9943.2:

100▪ What construction is effectis domibus?

10143.3:

102▪ Explain the syntax of accipiendo.

10343.4:

104▪ Why is haberet subjunctive?

10543.5:

  • Explain the mood of perrumperentur.

  • Why is the infinitive ardescere used here?

106Stylistic Appreciation: In what ways does Tacitus make this passage a thought-provoking and ambivalent account of Nero’s attempts to improve the city?

107Discussion Point: Is Tacitus’ assessment of Nero’s building works fair? How does Nero’s programme of improvements compare to the approaches of other governments, in the modern day or through history, to catastrophes?

Gallicus, -a, -um

of the Gauls

distinctio, -onis, f.

demarcation

erigo, -ere, -rexi, -rectum

I build

dimetior, -iri, -mensus sum

I measure out

vicus, -i, m.

street

cohibeo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I restrict

altitudo, -inis, f.

height

patefacio, -ere, -feci, -factum

I leave open

porticus, -us, f.

colonnade

protego, -ere, -texi, -tectum

I protect

purgo, -are, -avi, -atum

I clear

pro (+ abl.)

(here) according to

rei familiaris copiae, -arum, f.pl.

personal wealth

finio, -ire, -ivi, -itum

I prescribe, define

apiscor, -i, aptus sum

I obtain

rudus, -eris, n.

rubble

Ostienses paludes, -um, f.pl.

the marshes of Ostia

destino, -are, -avi, -atum

I assign

Tiberis, -is, m.

river Tiber

subvecto, -are, -avi, -atum

I carry up

onustus, -a, -um

loaded with

trabes, -is, f.

wooden beam

solido, -are, -avi, -atum

I reinforce, support

lapis, -is, m.

stone

impervius, -a, -um

resistant to

licentia, -ae, f.

unrestrained behaviour

largior, -ius

(here) ‘in greater abundance’

in publicum

for public use

subsidium, -ii, n.

means, equipment

reprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressum

I stop, extinguish

propatulum, -i, n.

an accessible position

communio, -onis, f.

sharing

paries, -etis, m.

party-wall

proprius, -a, -um

one’s own

ambio, -ire, -ivi, -itum

I encircle

utilitas, -atis, f.

usefulness

decor, -oris, m.

beauty

salubritas, -atis, f.

health

conduco, -ere, -duxi, -ductum

(here) I am conducive

angustiae, -arum, f.pl.

narrowness

perinde

so much, so readily

vapor, -oris, m.

heat

patulus, -a, -um

open

latitudo, -inis, f.

wide space

aestus, -us, m.

heat

ardesco, -ere, arsi

I burn, grow hot

[44]

1081 Et haec quidem humanis consiliis providebantur. mox petita dis piacula aditique Sibyllae libri, ex quibus supplicatum Vulcano et Cereri Proserpinaeque ac propitiata Iuno per matronas, primum in Capitolio, deinde apud proximum mare, unde hausta aqua templum et simulacrum deae perspersum est; et sellisternia ac pervigilia celebravere feminae quibus mariti erant. 2 sed non ope humana, non largitionibus principis aut deum placamentis decedebat infamia quin iussum incendium crederetur. ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat. 3 auctor nominis eius Christus Tiberio imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiabilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. 4 igitur primum correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens haud proinde in crimine incendii quam odio humani generis convicti sunt. et pereuntibus addita ludibria, ut ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent, aut crucibus adfixi aut flammandi, atque ubi defecisset dies in usum nocturni luminis urerentur. 5 hortos suos ei spectaculo Nero obtulerat et circense ludicrum edebat, habitu aurigae permixtus plebi vel curriculo insistens. unde quamquam adversus sontes et novissima exempla meritos miseratio oriebatur, tamquam non utilitate publica sed in saevitiam unius absumerentur.

10944.1:

  • Briefly explain Tacitus’ reference to the Sibyllae libri.

  • Parse celebravere.

11044.2:

111▪ Explain the syntax of rumori abolendo.

11244.3:

113▪ Where is Judaea, and why is it described as originem eius mali?

11444.4:

115▪ Whom does pereuntibus describe? Explain the syntax of this word.

11644.5:

  • Parse obtulerat.

  • How does the design of non utilitate publica, sed in saevitiam unius absumerentur underline Nero’s cruelty?

117Stylistic Appreciation: How is the hypocrisy and cruelty of the emperor brought out particularly vividly in this chapter?

118Discussion Point: Tacitus seems to view Rome as a sink-hole for the empire: when and where have similar views been widely held? Are they current today? How plausible is Tacitus’ claim that cruel treatment of a hated minority aroused popular sympathy? Are there more recent instances of this? Christian sources for Nero’s executions of Christians make no mention of his allegations of arson: why do you think this is? Whom are we to believe?

piaculum, -i, n.

means of appeasing

Sibyllae libri, -orum, m.pl.

the Sibylline books (ancient works of prophecy)

supplico, -are, -avi, -atum

I pray to (supplicatum [est] is an impersonal passive)

propitio, -are, -avi, -atum

I appease

matrona, -ae, f.

married woman

haurio, -ire, hausi, haustum

I draw (water)

simulacrum, -i, n.

statue

perspargo, -ere, -spersi, -spersum

I sprinkle over

sellisternium, -ii, n.

sacred banquet

pervigilium, -ii, n.

vigil

largitio, -onis, f.

lavish gifts

placamentum, -i, n.

appeasement

decedo, -ere, -cessi, -cessum

I subside

aboleo, -ere, -evi, -etum

I wipe out, eliminate

subdo, -ere, -didi, -ditum

I frame

reus, -i, m.

defendant; culprit; (here) scapegoat

quaesitus, -a, -um

elaborate

adficio, -ere, -feci, -fectum

I inflict

flagitium, -ii, n.

outrage

invisus, -a, -um

hated

procurator, -oris, m.

governor (of a province)

supplicium, -ii, n.

death-penalty

exitiabilis, -e

deadly

pudendus, -a, -um

shameful

confluo, -ere, -fluxi

I flow together

celebro, -are, -avi, -atum

(here) I become popular

corripio, -ere, -ripui, -reptum

I arrest

fateor, -eri, fassus sum

I confess

indicium, -ii, n.

evidence

ludibrium, -ii, n.

humiliation

fera, -ae, f.

wild beast

tergum, -i, n.

(here) skin, hide

contectus, -a, -um

covered with (ferarum tergis)

laniatus, -us, m

tearing

crux, crucis, f.

cross

adfixus, -a, -um

(here) nailed to

deficio, -ere, -feci, -fectum

I end, fail

uro, -ere, ussi, ustum

I burn

habitus, -us, m.

dress, clothing

auriga, -ae, m.

charioteer

permixtus, -a, -um

mingled with

curriculum, -i, n.

chariot

sons, sontis

guilty

novissimus, -a, -um

(here) most extreme

meritus, -a, -um

deserving

miseratio, -onis, f.

compassion

tamquam

as though

absumo, -ere, -sumpsi, -sumptum

I do away with

[45]

1191 Interea conferendis pecuniis pervastata Italia, provinciae eversae sociique populi et quae civitatium liberae vocantur. inque eam praedam etiam dii cessere, spoliatis in urbe templis egestoque auro quod triumphis, quod votis omnis populi Romani aetas prospere aut in metu sacraverat. 2 enimvero per Asiam atque Achaiam non dona tantum sed simulacra numinum abripiebantur, missis in eas provincias Acrato ac Secundo Carrinate. ille libertus cuicumque flagitio promptus, hic Graeca doctrina ore tenus exercitus animum bonis artibus non induerat. 3 ferebatur Seneca quo invidiam sacrilegii a semet averteret longinqui ruris secessum oravisse et, postquam non concedebatur, ficta valetudine quasi aeger nervis cubiculum non egressus. tradidere quidam venenum ei per libertum ipsius, cui nomen Cleonicus, paratum iussu Neronis vitatumque a Seneca proditione liberti seu propria formidine, dum persimplici victu et agrestibus pomis ac, si sitis admoneret, profluente aqua vitam tolerat.

12045.1:

121▪ What were the civitates liberae, and what does Tacitus want to suggest by vocantur here?

12245.2:

  • State and explain the case of missis.

  • What does Tacitus mean by Graeca doctrina ore tenus exercitus?

  • What type of ablative is bonis artibus?

12345.3:

  • Parse tradidere. What is the meaning of trado in this context? What is its subject?

  • With which noun are the participles paratum and vitatum agreeing?

  • State and explain the tense of tolerat.

124Stylistic Appreciation: What is there in this section to contribute to our impression of Nero, and how does Tacitus’ use of language draw attention to his wickedness?

125Discussion Point: In his search for funds, Nero turns the empire upside down and shakes it. When have countries or empires more recently behaved similarly? What impression of Nero as an emperor does this give? What sort of things would Graeca doctrina have entailed? Who in our times might most closely fit Tacitus’ acid description of Carrinas the hypocrite? Is Seneca much better? Are we to view his withdrawal from public life as principled or craven?

confero, -ferre, -tuli, -latum

(here) I raise (funds)

pervasto, -are, -avi, -atum

I ravage

everto, -ere, -verti, -versum

I ruin

cedo, -ere, cessi, cessum

(here) I fall victim (cessere = cesserunt)

spolio, -are, -avi, -atum

I plunder

egero, -ere, -gessi, -gestum

I carry off

votum, -i, n.

vow

prospere

in prosperity

sacro, -are, -avi, -atum

I consecrate

enimvero

and what is more

simulacrum, -i, n.

statue

numen, -inis, n.

deity

Acratus, -i, m.

Acratus (agent of Nero)

Secundus Carrinas, -atis, m.

Secundus Carrinas (agent of Nero)

ille ... hic...

the former... the latter...

flagitium, -ii, n.

outrage

promptus, -a, -um

ready

doctrina, -ae, f.

learning

os, oris, n.

(here) speech

tenus (+ abl.)

as far as

exerceo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I train in, practise

induo, -ere, -ui, -utum

I imbue

sacrilegium, -ii, n.

sacrilege

semet

= se

longinquus, -a, -um

remote

secessus, -us, m.

retirement

concedo, -ere, -cessi, -cessum

I allow

fingo, -ere, finxi, fictum

I feign, invent

valetudo, -inis, f.

(here) ill-health

aeger, -gra, -grum

sick

nervus, -i, m.

muscle

cubiculum, -i, n.

bedroom

trado, -ere, -didi, -ditum

(here) I record

venenum, -i, n.

poison

proditio, -onis, f.

betrayal

proprius, -a, -um

one’s own

formido, -inis, f.

fear

persimplex, -icis

very simple

victus, -us, m.

food

agrestis, -e

of the countryside

poma, -ae, f.

fruit

sitis, -is, f.

thirst

admoneo, -ere, -ui, -itum

I urge

profluens, -entis

running

vitam tolero, -are, -avi, -atum

I support my life

Acheter