aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

ILS 7478 = CIL IX. 2689

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An amusing dialogue found on a tombstone from Aesernia, on which there is an illustration of the two men reckoning up the numbers on their fingers. The asses – before you get too confused – are coins, not the animal. But we do have a mule at the end to provide a joke whose sense is quite clear even if the specific colloquial idiom isn’t. (There have been a few versions of the expansion of the abbreviations. I hope I’ve produced a version that makes sense!)

L. Calidius Eroticus sibi et Fanniae Voluptati vivus fecit.

‘copo, computemus.’
‘habes vini sextarium unum, panem asse uno, pulmentarium assibus duobus.’
‘convenit.’
‘puellam, assibus octo.’
‘et hoc convenit.’
‘faenum mulo, assibus duobus.’
‘iste mulus me ad factum dabit.’

Lucius Calidius Eroticus made [this monument], while he was still alive, for himself and for Fannia Voluptas.

‘Innkeeper! Let’s work out the bill!’
‘You’ve had a sextarius of wine, and bread: one as. Relish, two asses.’
‘Okay.’
‘The girl, eight asses.’
‘That’s okay too.’
‘Hay for the mule, two asses.’
‘That bloody mule will be the ruin of me.’

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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