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Latin Translation / 23.11.2011

Introduction. The passages below are taken from abridged texts of three Latin authors published in the "Cambridge Latin Authority", Cambridge School Classics Project, Cambridge University Press, 1996. From Caesar: Julius Caesar encountered the Druids during his conquest of Gaul from 58 to 49 B.C. They were priests recruited mainly from the nobility, and they were the only men powerful enough to organise opposition to Roman rule throughout the Celtic tribes. The Power of the Druids (from "De Bello Gallico": Book VI, Chapter 13): The Druids are concerned with divine matters, they perform...

Latin Translation / 21.11.2011

Introduction. Lucius Apuleius was born in c 124 A.D. in Madaura, a town in North Africa. He was educated first at Carthage and afterwards at Athens, where he studied Platonic philosophy and was initiated into the rites of Isis. He then went to Rome, where, after studying Latin rhetoric, he practised with some success at the bar. After travelling extensively, he returned to Africa and married a wealthy widow Pudentilla. When she died after leaving him all her money, he was charged by her relatives with having gained her...

Latin Translation / 09.11.2011

Introduction. Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust) was, together with Cicero and Caesar, the third great prose writer of the first part of the Golden Age of Latin literature which stretched from about 80 to 40 B.C., and like the other two writers he exercised a profound influence on the subsequent development of Latin literature. What is known about his life is relatively meagre. He was born in the Sabine hills of central Italy in 86 B.C. and entered the Senate in about 55, having been elected quaestor, and appears to...

Latin Translation / 22.07.2011

Introduction. The following two extracts are translations from two of the letters of the Younger Pliny and were written in praise of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, the famous naturalist and scholar. For details of the Younger Pliny the reader is referred to the item on this blog dated 12th July 2011, entitled 'Tres Feminae'. The text of both extracts is taken from the 'Cambridge Latin Anthology', edited by Ashley Carter and Phillip Parr, Cambridge University Press, 1996. 1. A day in the life of Pliny the Elder (adapted from 'Letters'...

Latin Translation / 13.07.2011

Introduction. The theme of these four extracts, translated by Sabidius, is that of 'Unwelcome people'. The first two are tricksters; the last two are both notorious women. Sallust's character assassination of Sempronia is particularly memorable. In the final extract Cicero is defending Caelius from the charge by his former mistress Clodia that he sought to poison her. As she was the sister of his bitter enemy, Clodius, Cicero was no doubt happy to blacken her character. These extracts are taken from the 'Cambridge Latin Anthology', edited by Ashley Carter and...

Latin Translation / 12.07.2011

Introduction. The following portraits of three women are taken from the letters of the Younger Pliny, the famous letter-writer of Imperial Rome (61-113 A.D.) His mother's brother was the famous naturalist and polymath, Pliny the Elder, and as a young man he was a witness to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 when his uncle was killed while trying to organise assistance to the stricken communities on the Bay of Naples. Inheriting his uncle's name and estate, theYounger Pliny enjoyed a successful career as a public servant. He was...

Latin Translation / 20.09.2010

Introduction. Readers are referred to Sabidius' translation of Book VIII of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" which was published on his blog on 25th March 2010 for information about this great poem. The text of this extract is taken from the 'Cambridge Latin Anthology', Cambridge University Press, 1996. Ll. 354-360, 368-399. The story opens when Narcissus is out hunting one day. A babbling nymph, who has learned neither to keep quiet for (someone) talking, nor to speak first herself, the answering Echo, espied him (i.e. Narcissus), driving some frightened deer into his net. Still,...

Latin Translation / 19.09.2010

Ll. 464-527. Towards the end of the fourth and final book of his magical poem, the "Georgics", ostensibly a guide to country living, Virgil recounts the tragic tale of Orpheus, a famous musician from Northern Greece, whose singing and lyre-playing enchanted the whole of nature. When his beloved wife, Eurydice, died of a snake-bite, he was overcome with grief and decided to go down to the Underworld to try to recover her. (The text of this extract comes from the "Cambridge Latin Anthology", Cambridge University Press, 1996.) He, himself,...