Category Archives: Latin

Anything of or relating to the Latin language.

The four ages

Aurea prima sata est aetas, quae vindice nullo,
sponte sua, sine lege fidem rectumque colebat.
poena metusque aberant, nec verba minantia fixo
aere legebantur, nec supplex turba timebat
iudicis ora sui, sed erant sine vindice tuti.
nondum caesa suis, peregrinum ut viseret orbem,
montibus in liquidas pinus descenderat undas,
nullaque mortales praeter sua litora norant;
nondum praecipites cingebant oppida fossae;
non tuba derecti, non aeris cornua flexi,
non galeae, non ensis erat: sine militis usu
mollia securae peragebant otia gentes.
ipsa quoque inmunis rastroque intacta nec ullis
saucia vomeribus per se dabat omnia tellus,
contentique cibis nullo cogente creatis
arbuteos fetus montanaque fraga legebant
cornaque et in duris haerentia mora rubetis
et quae deciderant patula Iovis arbore glandes.
ver erat aeternum, placidique tepentibus auris
mulcebant zephyri natos sine semine flores;
mox etiam fruges tellus inarata ferebat,
nec renovatus ager gravidis canebat aristis;
flumina iam lactis, iam flumina nectaris ibant,
flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella.

First was sown the golden age, which, with no protector, of its own will fostered faith and virtue without law. Punishment and fear were absent, nor were threatening words read on fixed brass, nor did the suppliant multitude fear the looks of its judge, but they were safe without a protector. No cut-down pine had yet gone down from its mountains to the liquid waves, so that it would visit a foreign land, and no mortals knew shores other than their own.

Jupiter gives up Io

Metamorphoses I.615-621

Iuppiter e terra genitam mentitur, ut auctor
desinat inquiri: petit hanc Saturnia munus.
quid faciat? crudele suos addicere amores,
non dare suspectum est: Pudor est, qui suadeat illinc,
hinc dissuadet Amor. victus Pudor esset Amore,
sed leve si munus sociae generisque torique
vacca negaretur, poterat non vacca videri!

Jupiter pretends that she is born from the land, so that the parent may cease to be inquired for: Juno requests her as a gift. What can he do? It is cruel to resign his own loves; it is suspicious not to give her. It is Shame which would persuade him from the one; Love dissuades him from the other. Shame would have been overcome by Love, but if the cow, a light gift, should be denied to the partner both of his family and his bed, it might not seem a cow!

 

Juno asks about the heifer

Metamorphoses I.607-614

quem postquam caelo non repperit, ‘aut ego fallor
aut ego laedor’ ait delapsaque ab aethere summo
constitit in terris nebulasque recedere iussit.
coniugis adventum praesenserat inque nitentem
Inachidos vultus mutaverat ille iuvencam;
bos quoque formosa est. speciem Saturnia vaccae,
quamquam invita, probat nec non, et cuius et unde
quove sit armento, veri quasi nescia quaerit.

After she did not find him in heaven, she says: ‘Either I am mistaken or I am betrayed’. And gliding down from the high ether she stood on the earth and ordered the clouds to recede. He had foreseen the approach of his wife, and had changed the appearance of the daughter of Inachus into a sleek heifer; even as a cow she was beautiful. Juno, although unwilling, approved the appearance of the cow, and asks to whom, and from where, and to which herd it belongs, as if not knowing the truth.

Vocabulary

  1. nitens, -tis (participle): sleek
  2. Inachidos: daughter of Inachus
  3. vultus, -us: appearance
  4. iuvenca, -ae: a young cow, heifer
  5. quamquam (conj.): though, although, albeit

Bellum Gallicum I.II

Apud Helvetios longe nobilissimus fuit et ditissimus Orgetorix. Is M. Messala, [et P.] M. Pisone consulibus regni cupiditate inductus coniurationem nobilitatis fecit et civitati persuasit ut de finibus suis cum omnibus copiis exirent: [2] perfacile esse, cum virtute omnibus praestarent, totius Galliae imperio potiri. [3] Id hoc facilius iis persuasit, quod undique loci natura Helvetii continentur: una ex parte flumine Rheno latissimo atque altissimo, qui agrum Helvetium a Germanis dividit; altera ex parte monte Iura altissimo, qui est inter Sequanos et Helvetios; tertia lacu Lemanno et flumine Rhodano, qui provinciam nostram ab Helvetiis dividit. [4] His rebus fiebat ut et minus late vagarentur et minus facile finitimis bellum inferre possent; [5] qua ex parte homines bellandi cupidi magno dolore adficiebantur. [6] Pro multitudine autem hominum et pro gloria belli atque fortitudinis angustos se fines habere arbitrabantur, qui in longitudinem milia passuum CCXL, in latitudinem CLXXX patebant.

Among the Helvetians, Orgetorix was for a long time the noblest and the wealthiest. When M. Messala and M. Pisone were consuls, led by desire for the kingdom, he created a conspiracy of the nobility and persuaded the citizens that they should depart their land with all their troops, saying that it would be very easy, since they surpassed all in courage, to acquire the supremacy of the whole of Gaul. He persuaded them of it more easily on account of this, because on all sides the Helvetians are bounded by the nature of the country: on one side by the very wide and deep Rhine river river, which divides the Helvetian land from the Germans; on the other side by the very tall Iura mountain, which is between the Sequanis and the Helvetians; on the third side by Lake Geneva and the Rhode river, which divides our province from the Helvetians. From these things it was coming about that they roamed about less widely and could less easily wage war with their neighbors; in which respect, men desirous of war were afflicted with great sorrow. They thought that, considering their multitude of men and their renown for war and bravery, they had but narrow limits, which they increased in length by CCXL miles, and in breadth by CLXXX miles.

Notes

(1.2.1) Not only does persuasit introduce a subjunctive ut clause, but it also creates an indirect discourse (oratio obliqua) which begins with the phrase perfacile esse.

Bellum Gallicum I.I

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. [2] Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. [3] Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, [4] proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. [5] [Eorum una, pars, quam Gallos obtinere dictum est, initium capit a flumine Rhodano, continetur Garumna flumine, Oceano, finibus Belgarum, attingit etiam ab Sequanis et Helvetiis flumen Rhenum, vergit ad septentriones. [6] Belgae ab extremis Galliae finibus oriuntur, pertinent ad inferiorem partem fluminis Rheni, spectant in septentrionem et orientem solem. [7] Aquitania a Garumna flumine ad Pyrenaeos montes et eam partem Oceani quae est ad Hispaniam pertinet; spectat inter occasum solis et septentriones.]

All of Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgians inhabit, another the Aquitani, a third those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Galls. All these differ among themselves in language, institutions, and laws. The Garonne river separates the Galls from the Aquitanis, and the Marne and Seine rivers separate them from the Belgians. Of all these the Belgians are the bravest, for the reason that they are the furthest away from the civilization and refinement of the Province, and least often do the merchants travel to them and import those things which tend to weaken men’s minds, and they are closest to the Germans, who live across the Rhine, with whom they continuously wage war. For which reason the Helvetians also surpass the rest of the Gauls in virtue, because they fight with the Germans in battles almost daily, when they either prohibit them from their borders or wage war in their enemy’s land. One of these parts, which it is said the Gauls occupy, begins at the Rhone river, is bounded by the Garonne river, the ocean, and the lands of the Belgians; it borders, too, on the side of the Sequanis and Helvetians, upon the Rhine river, and it stretches toward the north. The Belgians arise from the farthest lands of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the Rhine river, and look toward the north and the rising sun. Aquitania extends from the Garonne river to the Pyrenees mountains and that part of the ocean which is next to Spain; it looks between the setting sun and the north.

Notes

(1.1.6) In Latin, it’s common to omit the coordinating conjunction at the end of a list of more than two items. We see that happen here, where the first sentence beginning with Belgae has no conjunction (such as et or the enclitic -que) at the end. The opposite is true in English, where we tend to place and before the last item in a list.

Juno looks for Jove

Metamorphoses 1.601-606

Interea medios Iuno despexit in Argos
et noctis faciem nebulas fecisse volucres
sub nitido mirata die, non fluminis illas
esse, nec umenti sensit tellure remitti;
atque suus coniunx ubi sit circumspicit, ut quae
deprensi totiens iam nosset furta mariti.

In the meantime, Juno looked down on the midst of Argos and, amazed the floating clouds had made the appearance of night during the shining day, she perceived that they were not of the river, nor sent back by the humid earth; and she looks around where her husband may be, as one who already knew the wiles of her husband so often detected.

Vocabularium

  1. medius — middle, half, midst (of)
  2. umens (pres. participle) — wet, humid
  3. sentio, sentire — to perceive
  4. tellus, telluris — earth, ground
  5. coniunx, coniugis — spouse, husband, wife
  6. deprensus, a, um (participle)— caught, discovered
  7. maritus, mariti — husband
  8. nosco, noscere, novi, notum — to know, be acquainted with

Annotationes

  1. The phrase suus coniunx means “her husband” even though it takes the masculine. This is because adjectives agree with the nouns they modify.

Jove Rapes Io

Metamorphoses 1.596—599

Iam pascua Lernae
consitaque arboribus Lyrcea reliquerat arva,
cum deus inducta latas caligine terras
occuluit tenuitque fugam rapuitque pudorem.

Already she had left behind the pastures of Lerna, and the Lyrcean fields planted with trees, when the god covered the wide fields with a fog that he introduced, and seized her in flight, and ravished her chastity.

Vocabularium

  1. pascuus, a, um — of or for pasture, grazing
  2. arvum, arvi — field, dry land
  3. caligo, caliginis — fog, mist, vapor
  4. occulo, occulere, occului, occultum — cover, hide, conceal
  5. pudor, pudoris — chastity

Annotationes

  1. pascua (adjective) is used substantively
  2. consita = past participle (“planted”)
  3. Lerna — A region in Greece. Famous for having a gate to the Underworld and the Lernean Hydra as its gatekeeper.
  4. Lyrcea — a plain where Io was born
  5. inducta caligine = ablative absolute