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Latin Text, Study Aids with Vocabulary, and Commentary, by Mathew Owen and Ingo Gildenhard

33-37

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 [33]

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 1 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.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 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.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 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.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 33.1:

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 What type of ablative is cupidine?

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Parse cecinerat.

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 33.2:

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Neapolim: briefly explain Nero’s reasoning in selecting this city for his first public performance.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 Explain the syntax of inde initium fore.

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 33.3:

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 What does the vocabulary of oppidanorum vulgus imply about these men?

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 What type of verb is sectantur?

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus’ syntax and language paint an intriguing picture of the emperor and his followers in this chapter?

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 Discussion 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

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17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 [34]

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 1 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.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 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.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 34.1:

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 State and explain the case of secundis numinibus.

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Parse casus.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 What is striking about the phrase maris Hadriae?

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 What does ‘Beneventum’ mean and how does Tacitus play with the name?

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 34.2:

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 What type of ablative is corpore?

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 What type of clause is ut introducing here?

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 What type of ablatives are gratia pecunia vi nocendi? What makes this phrase particularly effective?

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 Stylistic 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.

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 Discussion 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. theatre
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

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32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 [35]

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 1 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.

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0 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.

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 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.

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 35.1:

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 Parse frequentanti.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 State and explain the case of isdem … illis diebus and discuss the effect of having two attributes (isdem and illis).

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 Briefly outline who Torquatus Silanus is. What reasons does Nero have for wanting him to be killed?

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 35.2:

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 Explain why Torquatus’ employment of the titles ab epistulis, a libellis and a rationibus was dangerous.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 What type of genitive is summae curae?

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 35.3:

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 State and explain the case of defensioni.

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 Parse victurum.

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 Who is referred to by iudicis? How would you describe Tacitus’ tone here?

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus make this short passage a terrifying glimpse of Neronian Rome?

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 Discussion 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
quippe 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

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0  

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 [36]

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 1 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.

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 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.

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 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.

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 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.

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 36.1:

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 What type of ablative is multo?

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 What is the Capitolium and what is its significance?

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 36.2:

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 illic … inceptum: analyse how the syntax of this sentence helps to articulate its sense.

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 What type of ablative is amore?

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 36.3:

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 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?

63 Leave a comment on paragraph 63 0 State and explain the case of itineris.

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 What type of gerundive is parendum?

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 36.4:

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 State and explain the mood of haberetur.

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 Stylistic 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?

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 Discussion 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

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71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 [37]

72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 1 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.

73 Leave a comment on paragraph 73 0 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.

74 Leave a comment on paragraph 74 0 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.

75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 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.

76 Leave a comment on paragraph 76 0 37.1:

77 Leave a comment on paragraph 77 0 What polarity in Roman thought is Tacitus dwelling on in the first sentence?

78 Leave a comment on paragraph 78 0 Explain the use of the infinitives struere and uti.

79 Leave a comment on paragraph 79 0 Who is Tigellinus?

80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 37.2:

81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 Explain the mood of moveretur.

82 Leave a comment on paragraph 82 0 How does the phrase Oceano abusque conjure an atmosphere of exoticism?

83 Leave a comment on paragraph 83 0 37.3:

84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 What is effective in the syntax of iam gestus motusque obsceni?

85 Leave a comment on paragraph 85 0 What type of genitive is nemoris?

86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 37.4:

87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 Parse denupsisset. What is significant about Tacitus’ use of this verb?

88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 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?

89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0 Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus generate an overpowering atmosphere of debauchery and decadence in his account of Tigellinus’ banquet?

90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 Discussion 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

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