aleator classicus

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Archive for September 2012

Justinian, Digest of Roman Law

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si quis mulierem vehendam navi conduxisset, deinde in nave infans natus fuisset, probandum est pro infante nihil deberi, cum neque vectura eius magna sit neque his omnibus utatur, quae ad navigantium usum parantur.

If someone has taken a women on his ship as a passenger, and she has then given birth to a baby on board the ship, the judgement to make is that nothing is owed for the baby, since its fare is not large [or something like ‘its transportation is not a big deal’?] and it does not make use of those facilities which are provided for the use of the passengers.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Justinian

Hierocles & Philagrios, The Laughter-Lover 104

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φιλάργυρος διαθήκας γράφων ἑαυτὸν κληρονόμον ἔταξεν.

A miser was writing his will. He made himself his own heir.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Martial, Epigrams 8.35

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cum sitis similes paresque vita,
uxor pessima, pessimus maritus,
miror non bene convenire vobis.

Since you two are similar and equal in your way of life, being an awful wife and an awful husband, I’m surprised you don’t get along well with each other.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 28, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Martial

Aeschylus, Agamemnon 832-833

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παύροις γὰρ ἀνδρῶν ἐστι συγγενὲς τόδε,
φίλον τὸν εὐτυχοῦντ’ ἄνευ φθόνου σέβειν.

This is something that comes naturally to few men – to pay respect without jealousy to a friend who has had good fortune.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 27, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Aeschylus

Isidore, Etymologies 12.7.24

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psittacus Indiae litoribus gignitur, colore viridi, torque puniceo, grandi lingua et ceteris avibus latiore. unde et articulata verba exprimit, ita ut si eam non videris, hominem loqui putes. ex natura autem salutat dicens ‘have’ vel ‘chaire’. cetera nomina institutione discit.

The parrot comes from the coastal regions of India; it is green in colour, with a purple collar and a strong tongue that is more copious than that of other birds. So it even produces articulate words, in such a way that if you had not seen it you would think it was a human speaking. It is in its nature to greet you, saying ‘Hello!’ or [in Greek] ‘Good health!’. It learns other words by being taught them.

For more on Isidore and a couple of nice images, see here.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Isidore

Xenophon, Anabasis 5.8.36

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ἀλλὰ μὴν καλόν τε καὶ δίκαιον καὶ ὅσιον καὶ ἥδιον τῶν ἀγαθῶν μᾶλλον ἢ τῶν κακῶν μεμνῆσθαι.

But it is certainly more noble, just, right, and sweet to remember good actions rather than bad actions.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Xenophon

Cato, On Farming 141.2-3

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The language of the prayer is rather archaic, so I have indulged myself a little to convey that in the translation.

Ianum Iovemque vino praefamino, sic dicito, ‘Mars pater, te precor quaesoque uti sies volens propitius mihi domo familiaeque nostrae, quoius re ergo agrum terram fundumque meum suovitaurilia circumagi iussi, uti tu morbos visos invisosque, viduertatem vastitudinemque, calamitates intemperiasque prohibessis defendas averruncesque; utique tu fruges, frumenta, vineta virgultaque grandire beneque evenire siris, pastores pecuaque salva servassis duisque bonam salutem valetudinemque mihi domo familiaeque nostrae; harumce rerum ergo, fundi terrae agrique mei lustrandi lustrique faciendi ergo, sicuti dixi, macte hisce suovitaurilibus lactentibus inmolandis esto; Mars pater, eiusdem rei ergo macte hisce suovitaurilibus lactentibus esto.’

After first praying to Janus and Jupiter with wine, say this: ‘Father Mars, I pray and beseech thee, that thou be gracious and propitious toward me, my house and my household, wherefore have I bidden this sacrifice of pig, sheep and bull to be led around my land, ground and farm; that thou prevent, ward off and avert sicknesses seen and unseen, dearth and ruin, calamities and inclemencies; and that thou permit harvests, grain, vineyards and shrubberies to grow and come forth; preserve in safety my shepherds and flocks; and grant good health and strength to me, my house and household. For which intent, for the intent of purifying my farm, ground and land, and of making expiation, like as I said, be thou glorified by the offering up these suckling victims; Father Mars, to that same intent be thou glorified by the offering up these suckling victims.’

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 24, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Cato

Zenobius, Proverbs 2.78

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βατράχοις οἰνοχοεῖς· πρὸς τοὺς ταῦτα παρέχοντας ὧν οὐ χρῄζουσιν οἱ λαμβάνοντες.

“You’re pouring wine for frogs”: Said to people who provide those things for which the recipients of them have no use.

What’s the English equivalent?

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Zenobius

Orosius, Histories against the Pagans 1.2.75-78

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A new translation of this work has recently come out in Liverpool’s Translated Texts for Historians series; I haven’t yet seen it though, so I apologise for any howlers in the following version!

et quoniam Oceanus habet insulas, quas Britanniam et Hiberniam vocant, quae in aversa Galliarum parte ad prospectum Hispaniae sitae sunt, breviter explicabuntur.

Britannia Oceani insula per longum in boream extenditur; a meridie Gallias habet. cuius proximum litus transmeantibus civitas aperit, quae dicitur Rutupi Portus; unde haud procul a Morinis in austro positos Menapos Batavosque prospectat. haec insula habet in longo milia passuum DCCC, in lato milia CC.

a tergo autem, unde Oceano infinito patet, Orcadas insulas habet, quarum XX desertae sunt, XIII coluntur.

deinde insula Thyle, quae per infinitum a ceteris separata, circium versus medio sita Oceani, vix paucis nota habetur.

And since the Ocean contains the islands which they call Britain and Hibernia, which are situated in the region opposite the Gauls and looking towards Spain, they will be briefly described.

Britain, an island in the Ocean, extends a long way into the north; the Gauls are to the south. A city, which is called Rutupus’ Port, offers the nearest landing-place for those who make the crossing. It looks out from there towards the Menapi and Batavi, who are not far from the Morini to the south. This island is 800 miles in length, 200 miles in breadth.

But behind it, where the boundless Ocean extends, there are the Orcades islands, 20 of which are deserted, 13 inhabited.

Then the island of Thule, which is separated from the rest by a vast distance, and is situated to the north-west towards the middle of the Ocean, is known only to a few.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Orosius

Homer, Odyssey 8.186-193

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Odysseus sets a new Phaeacian record for the discus.

ἦ ῥα, καὶ αὐτῷ φάρει ἀναΐξας λάβε δίσκον
μείζονα καὶ πάχετον, στιβαρώτερον οὐκ ὀλίγον περ
ἢ οἵῳ Φαίηκες ἐδίσκεον ἀλλήλοισι.
τόν ῥα περιστρέψας ἧκε στιβαρῆς ἀπὸ χειρός·
βόμβησεν δὲ λίθος· κατὰ δ’ ἔπτηξαν ποτὶ γαίῃ
Φαίηκες δολιχήρετμοι, ναυσικλυτοὶ ἄνδρες,
λᾶος ὑπὸ ῥιπῆς· ὁ δ’ ὑπέρπτατο σήματα πάντων,
ῥίμφα θέων ἀπὸ χειρός.

He spoke, and, jumping up with his cloak around him, he took a bigger discus, thicker and no small amount bulkier than those the Phaeacians used among themselves. Spinning around he sent it from his sturdy hand. And the stone hummed; the Phaeacians of the long oars crouched down to the ground, men renowned for their ships, beneath the stone’s rush. It flew past the marks of all the others, flying lightly from his hand.

Written by aleatorclassicus

September 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Homer