July 30th, 2010 by francese

The Glory of Spain (Claudian, Laus Serenae 50-69)

In honor of Spain’s recent world cup victory, here’s a bit of Claudian on the glories of Spain (Hispania to the Romans):

Claudian Laus Serenae

Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris

vox humana valet? primo levat aequore solem

India: tu fessos exacta luce iugales

proluis inque tuo respirant sidera fluctu.

dives equis, frugum facilis, pretiosa metallis,

principibus fecunda piis, tibi saecula debent           55

Traianum; series his fontibus Aelia fluxit.

hinc senior pater, hinc iuvenum diademata fratrum.

namque aliae gentes, quas foedere Roma recepit

aut armis domuit, varios aptantur in usus

imperii; Phariae segetes et Punica messis       60

castrorum devota cibo; dat Gallia robur

militis; Illyricis sudant equitatibus alae:

sola novum Latiis vectigal Hiberia rebus

contulit Augustos. fruges, aeraria, miles

undique conveniunt totoque ex orbe leguntur:        65

haec generat qui cuncta regant. nec laude virorum

censeri contenta fuit, nisi matribus aeque

vinceret et gemino certatim splendida sexu

Flaccillam Mariamque daret pulchramque Serenam.

On the punctuation of line 57, elucidating the reference to Theodosius the elder, German readers can see here. On the empress Aelia Flavia Flacilla, her daughter Aelia Pulcheria, and Serena herself, see here. And on the very real importance of women of the imperial house in this period, see interestingly here.

June 23rd, 2010 by francese

The Art of Love (Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.1-24)

Hi everybody! Sorry for the extended hiatus. The summer should bring time for more frequent updates. Hope you enjoy this bit of Ovid. The translation here is my own.

Ov. Ars Amatoria 1.1-24

Siquis in hoc artem populo non novit amandi,

Hoc legat et lecto carmine doctus amet.

Arte citae veloque rates remoque moventur,

Arte leves currus: arte regendus amor.

Curribus Automedon lentisque erat aptus habenis,               5

Tiphys in Haemonia puppe magister erat:

Me Venus artificem tenero praefecit Amori;

Tiphys et Automedon dicar Amoris ego.

Ille quidem ferus est et qui mihi saepe repugnet:

Sed puer est, aetas mollis et apta regi.               10

Phillyrides puerum cithara perfecit Achillem,

Atque animos placida contudit arte feros.

Qui totiens socios, totiens exterruit hostes,

Creditur annosum pertimuisse senem.

Quas Hector sensurus erat, poscente magistro               15

Verberibus iussas praebuit ille manus.

Aeacidae Chiron, ego sum praeceptor Amoris:

Saevus uterque puer, natus uterque dea.

Sed tamen et tauri cervix oneratur aratro,

Frenaque magnanimi dente teruntur equi;               20

Et mihi cedet Amor, quamvis mea vulneret arcu

Pectora, iactatas excutiatque faces.

Quo me fixit Amor, quo me violentius ussit,

Hoc melior facti vulneris ultor ero:

May 20th, 2010 by francese

Heavenly Food (Prudentius, Psychomachia Pref. 29-44)

Here is Brendan Boston reading a section from the iambic preface that Prudentius wrote to his hexameter mini-epic, the Psychomachia, composed around AD 400. It is a fine example of the allegorical interpretation of the Bible that was such an important  feature of ancient and medieval exegesis.  For more on the fascinating allegorical approach of Prudentius, see this brand new review of Marc Mastrangelo’s book on the subject.

Brendan BostonPrudentiusPodcast29-44.mp3

frangit catenas et rapinam liberat:
aurum, puellas, paruulos, monilia,
greges equarum, uasa, uestem, buculas.
Loth ipse ruptis expeditus nexibus
attrita bacis colla liber erigit.
Abram triumphi dissipator hostici
redit recepta prole fratris inclytus
ne quam fidelis sanguinis prosapiam
uis pessimorum possideret principum.
adhuc recentem caede de tanta uirum
donat sacerdos ferculis caelestibus,
dei sacerdos, rex et idem praepotens,
origo cuius fonte inenarrabili
secreta nullum prodit auctorem sui,
Melchisedech, qua stirpe, quis maioribus
ignotus, uni cognitus tantum deo.

May 20th, 2010 by francese

The Peaceful Heart (Prudentius, Psychomachia 779-784)

Here is a recording by Amy Hall of a lovely passage from near the end of Psychomachia (or “Battle within the Soul”), written around AD 400 by the Spanish-born Latin poet Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (whom you may now befriend on Facebook).

Psychomachia 770-784 Amy Hall

pax plenum Virtutis opus, pax summa laborum,
pax belli exacti pretium est pretiumque pericli.
sidera pace uigent, consistunt terrea pace.
nil placitum sine pace deo: non munus ad aram
cum cupias offerre probat, si turbida fratrem
mens inpacati sub pectoris oderit antro,
nec, si flammicomis Christi pro nomine martyr
ignibus insilias seruans inamabile uotum
bile sub obliqua, pretiosam proderit Iesu
inpendisse animam, meriti quia clausula pax est.
non inflata tumet, non inuidet aemula fratri,
omnia perpetitur patiens atque omnia credit,
nunquam laesa dolet, cuncta offensacula donat,
occasum lucis uenia praecurrere gestit,
anxia ne stabilem linquat sol conscius iram.

March 16th, 2010 by francese

Horace, Odes 1.1

Horace, Odes 1.1

Maecenas atauis edite regibus,
o et praesidium et dulce decus meum,
sunt quos curriculo puluerem Olympicum
collegisse iuuat metaque feruidis
euitata rotis palmaque nobilis               5
terrarum dominos euehit ad deos;
hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium
certat tergeminis tollere honoribus;
illum, si proprio condidit horreo
quicquid de Libycis uerritur areis.               10
Gaudentem patrios findere sarculo
agros Attalicis condicionibus
numquam demoueas, ut trabe Cypria
Myrtoum pauidus nauta secet mare.
Luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum               15
mercator metuens otium et oppidi
laudat rura sui; mox reficit rates
quassas, indocilis pauperiem pati.
Est qui nec ueteris pocula Massici
nec partem solido demere de die               20
spernit, nunc uiridi membra sub arbuto
stratus, nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae.
Multos castra iuuant et lituo tubae
permixtus sonitus bellaque matribus
detestata. Manet sub Ioue frigido               25
uenator tenerae coniugis inmemor,
seu uisa est catulis cerua fidelibus,
seu rupit teretis Marsus aper plagas.
Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium
dis miscent superis, me gelidum nemus               30
Nympharumque leues cum Satyris chori
secernunt populo, si neque tibias
Euterpe cohibet nec Polyhymnia
Lesboum refugit tendere barbiton.
Quod si me lyricis uatibus inseres,               35
sublimi feriam sidera uertice.

February 17th, 2010 by francese

Some Hexamater lists

Hexamater lists

All 12 of the chief Roman gods (Ennius):

Iuno Vesta Minerva Ceres Diana Venus Mars

Mercurius Iovis Neptunus Volcanus Apollo

Ingredients of a cocktail called dodra (Ausonius):

Ius aqua mel vinum panis piper herba oleum sal

All letters of the Latin alphabet:

Duc, Zephyre exsurgens, durum cum flatibus aequor

All parts of speech:

Vae tibi lascivo, quia mox post gaudia flebis.

Or:

Vae tibi ridenti, quia mox post gaudia flebis.

For more in this vein, see  the wonderful article by Harry C. Schnur, “The Factotum: Some Varieties of the Latin Hexameter,” The Classical World 53 (1960) 153-157.

January 15th, 2010 by francese

To a Glutton (Francesco Filelfo, Odes 1.9)

Filelfo Odes 1.9

Si te trux adeo podagra torquet,

nec cessat laterum dolor, podarge,

affligitque premens nec exeundi

urinae reperit viam profusus

imber, pone modum gulae voraci   5

et dirae veneri. Quibus per omnis

quando luxurias ruis protervus,

morbum non pateris subactus unum.

Membris te cruciat doloris haerens

aestus. Quo penitus furis procellis   10

excitus rabidis per omne mentis

excussae facinus, trahit volentem

hanc corpus, ratio quod ipsa nullis

fraenis compositum suprema rexit.

Hinc fervet vitiis furens et atrae    15

pestis flammigerum recludit aestum.

Hinc humana simul deumque iura

contemnit penitus nefas omne

praeceps flagitiisque prona cunctis.

Quod si sustuleris nimis, podarge,   20

quod praestas veneri gulaeque turgens,

nec torquebere corporis dolore,

nec tot nequitiis comes protervus

accedes populo levis susurrus.

Text: Francesco Filelfo, Odes, ed. and trans. Diana Robin in the I Tatti Renaissance Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009)

December 22nd, 2009 by francese

To Aelia Secundula (CIL 8.20277)

Thanks to everyone who voted for Latin Poetry Podcast in the 2009 Edublog Awards contest. I came in a respectable fourth in the category of Best Educational Use of Audio, with 10% of the votes. I appreciate the support!

Aelia Secundula

Memoriae Aeliae Secundulae

Funeri mu[l]ta quid(e)m condigna iam misimus omneS,

Insuper ar(a)eque deposit(a)e Secundulae matrI(s),

Lapideam placuit nobis atponere mensaM,

In qua magna eius memorantes plurima factA;

Dum cibi ponuntur calicesque e[t] co[o]pertaE,

Vulnus ut sanetur nos rod(ens) pectore saevuM.

Libenter fabul(as) dum sera red(d)imus horA

Castae matri, bona(e), laudesq(ue), uetula dormiT

Ipsa, o nutri[x], iaces et sobria<e> sempeR.

v(ixit) a(nnos) LXXV, a(nno) p(rouinciae) CCLX Statulenia lulia fecit

MEMORIAE AELIAE SECVNDVLAE

FVNERI MVITA QVIDM CONDIGNA IAM MISIMVS OMNES

INSVPER AREQV DEPOSITE SECVNDVLAE MATRI

LAPIDEAM PLACVIT NOBIS ATPONERE MENSAM

IN QVA MAGNA EIVS MEMORANTES PLVRIMA FACTA

DVM CIBI PONVNTUR CALICESQ EI COPERTAE

VVLNVS VT SANETVR NOS ROD PECTORE SAEVVM

LIBENTER FABVL DVM SERA RED IMVS HORA

CASTAE MATRI BONAE LAVDESQ VETVLA DORMIT

IPSA O NVTRIT IACES ET SOBRIAE SEMPER

V A LXXV A P CCLX STATVLENIA IVLIA FECIT

This text is based on M. Stéphane Gsell, “Satafis (Périgotville) et Thamalia (Tocqueville),” Mélanges d’archéologie et d’histoire 15 (1895), p. 49, and Carmina Latina Epigraphica Suppl.,  ed. E. Lommatzch, (Stutgard, 1926), no. 1977. I did not have access to CIL. I made some alterations to the expansions based on what I think the scansion is meant to be. The translation I give comes from Ramsay MacMullen, The Second Church: Popular Christianity A.D. 200-400 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009), p. 58.

In the podcast I too hastily said that this text was written by Statulenia Julia; in fact there is no evidence one way or the other on that. But she does say she “made” (i.e. paid for) the monument.

December 10th, 2009 by francese

Decimus Laberius

This just in, Latin Poetry Podcast is a finalist in the 2009 Edublog Awards, Category: Best Educational Use of Audio. Click here to cast your vote!

Laberius

Some fragments of the mime writer Laberius,  from O. Ribbeck, Scaenicae Romanorum Poesis Fragmenta, vol. 2 Comicorum Romanorum Fragmenta, 3rd ed. Leipzig: Teubner, 1897:

Amore cecidi tamquam blatta in peluim (Virgo, p. 358)

Vix sustineo lassas clunes (Aries, p. 340)

Sequere <me> in latrinum, ut aliquid gustes ex Cynica haeresi (Compitalia, p. 345)

Necesse est multos timeat quem multi timent. (ex incertis fabulis, p. 361)

Uxorem tuam / et meam novercam consectari lapidibus / a populo video (ex incertis fabulis p. 363)

There is a tad more information about Laberius on Wikipedia here, but somebody, preferably Costas Panayotakis, who has written a new edition and commentary on Laberius’s fragments, needs to revise and expand it.

November 4th, 2009 by francese

Quintilian on pauses in Aeneid 1.1-8

Quintilian on pausingquintilian-1-sized

Pacing: Quintilian on pauses in Aeneid 1.1–8 (Inst. 11.3.33–38, trans. Russell)

Arma virumque cano,/ Troiae qui primus ab oris/
Italiam/ fato profugus/ Lavinaque venit
litora,/ multum ille et terris iactatus et alto . . .

Albanique patres, atque altae moenia Romae./

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso . . .

Elisions:

However, though words must be pronounced in full, it is tiresome and offensive to put a value on every letter . . . For one thing, vowels often coalesce, and some consonants are suppressed when a vowel follows . . . multum ille et terris illustrates both points. (33–34)

Sense Pauses:

We must also note where our speech should be left in the air . . . and where it should be brought to rest. Arma virumque cano is left in the air, because virum belongs to what follows, giving us virum Troiae qui primus ab oris, after which there is another suspension; for, although where he came from and where he arrived are two different things, yet we do not need punctuation here, because both are covered by the same verb, venit. (35–36)

There is a third pause at Italiam, because fato profugus is parenthetical and interrupts the continuity of Italiam Lavinaque. For the same reason, there is a fourth pause at profugus, after which comes Lavinaque venit litora, where we do at last need some punctuation, because a new sentence begins at this point. (37)

Even when there is punctuation, the time we give to it may be shorter or longer, according to whether it marks the end of a phrase or of a thought. Thus I shall take a new breath immediately after the punctuation at litora, but when I come to atque altae moenia Romae, I shall pause and wait to make a fresh beginning. (37–38)

Pausing without breathing:

Pauses sometimes occur, even in long periods, without a new breath. The sentence beginning in coetu vero populi Romani, negotium publicum gerens, magister equitum and so on [Cicero, Philippics 2.63], has many Cola (there are a number of thoughts, one after another) but only one Period; so it is a case for short pauses between these phrases, not for breaking up the structure of the whole. (39)

Breathing without pausing:

Conversely, it is sometimes necessary to recover breath without a perceptible pause . . . because if we regain our breath awkwardly, this produces just as much obscurity as faulty punctuation. (39)

The necessity of proper pausing:

Virtue of punctuation is perhaps a small thing; but without it there can be no other virtue in pleading (virtus autem distinguendi fortasse sit parva, sine qua tamen esse nulla alia in agendo potest). (39)

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