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

42-45

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 [42]

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 1 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.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 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.

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 42.1:

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Analyse the design of Nero usus est patriae ruinis extruxitque domum, thinking particularly about the contrasts Tacitus is drawing.

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 State and explain the case of miraculo. What does the subjunctive essent indicate here?

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 What type of dative is quibus?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 42.2:

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 Parse depressuros.

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 How does Tacitus’ choice and position of words in squalenti litore aut per montes adversos convey the difficulty of this project?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Stylistic Appreciation: How does Tacitus underscore the extravagance and vanity of Nero’s building programme after the fire?

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 Discussion 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

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0  

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 [43]

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 1 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.

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 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.

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0 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;

18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 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.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 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.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 43.1:

21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 How does the design of dimensis vicorum ordinibus et latis viarum spatiis cohibitaque aedificiorum altitudine suggest the imposition of order?

22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 Explain the mood of protegerent.

23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 43.2:

24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 What construction is effectis domibus?

25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 43.3:

26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 Explain the syntax of accipiendo.

27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 43.4:

28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 Why is haberet subjunctive?

29 Leave a comment on paragraph 29 0 43.5:

30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 Explain the mood of perrumperentur.

31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 Why is the infinitive ardescere used here?

32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 Stylistic Appreciation: In what ways does Tacitus make this passage a thought-provoking and ambivalent account of Nero’s attempts to improve the city?

33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Discussion 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

34 Leave a comment on paragraph 34 0  

35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0  

36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 [44]

37 Leave a comment on paragraph 37 0 1 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.

38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 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.

39 Leave a comment on paragraph 39 0 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.

40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 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.

41 Leave a comment on paragraph 41 0 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.

42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 44.1:

43 Leave a comment on paragraph 43 0 Briefly explain Tacitus’ reference to the Sibyllae libri.

44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 Parse celebravere.

45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 44.2:

46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 Explain the syntax of rumori abolendo.

47 Leave a comment on paragraph 47 0 44.3:

48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 Where is Judaea, and why is it described as originem eius mali?

49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 44.4:

50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 Whom does pereuntibus describe? Explain the syntax of this word.

51 Leave a comment on paragraph 51 0 44.5:

52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 Parse obtulerat.

53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 How does the design of non utilitate publica, sed in saevitiam unius absumerentur underline Nero’s cruelty?

54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 Stylistic Appreciation: How is the hypocrisy and cruelty of the emperor brought out particularly vividly in this chapter?

55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 Discussion 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

56 Leave a comment on paragraph 56 0 [45]

57 Leave a comment on paragraph 57 0 1 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.

58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 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.

59 Leave a comment on paragraph 59 0 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.

60 Leave a comment on paragraph 60 0 45.1:

61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 What were the civitates liberae, and what does Tacitus want to suggest by vocantur here?

62 Leave a comment on paragraph 62 0 45.2:

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

64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 What does Tacitus mean by Graeca doctrina ore tenus exercitus?

65 Leave a comment on paragraph 65 0 What type of ablative is bonis artibus?

66 Leave a comment on paragraph 66 0 45.3:

67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 Parse tradidere. What is the meaning of trado in this context? What is its subject?

68 Leave a comment on paragraph 68 0 With which noun are the participles paratum and vitatum agreeing?

69 Leave a comment on paragraph 69 0 State and explain the tense of tolerat.

70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 Stylistic 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?

71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 Discussion 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
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