Saturday, March 24, 2018


I am still working on the Homeric hymns, but I also want to update my Latin skills, which are extremely rusty. I was looking for something in prose to start with. Grammar is always a lot clearer in prose. I was looking a various things and came across the beginning of the Annuals of Tacitus. The first paragraph is so terse, it is hard to believe that anyone would begin a book or history like that.

1. Vrbem Romam a principio reges habuere; libertatem et consulatum L. Brutus instituit. dictaturae ad tempus sumebantur; neque decemviralis potestas ultra biennium, neque tribunorum militum consulare ius diu valuit. non Cinnae, non Sullae longa dominatio; et Pompei Crassique potentia cito in Caesarem, Lepidi atque Antonii arma in Augustum cessere, qui cuncta discordiis civilibus fessa nomine principis sub imperium accepit.

The city Rome in the beginning had kings. [a very plain spoken sentence, but Vrbem Romam accusative, object of habuere, they have (pl).] L. Brutus instituted Liberty and Consulships. Dictatorships were held for a time. Decemvirs held power not more than two years, nor was the consular jurisdiction of military Tribunes long in days. Neither dominion of Cinna or Sulla was long. The power of Pompeius and Crassus passed quickly to Caesar; the arms of Lepidus and Antonius before Augustus, who, when all were wearied by civil discord, subjected it to empire under the name first. [as in first citizen]

I think, along with all my other projects, I will continue to translate in the Annuals until I am more confident in my Latin--then maybe I will venture to Virgil or Ovid.

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