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theilian

Cicero's letters

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I think this has been a really useful thread, Ilian. But if you can all bear with me - I am deliberately adding a comment just to test the waters regarding the posting problems I have been having. So, forgive me, Ilian, for using your thread as a guinea pig - and Mods, please feel free to send this post to Tartarus - it is just an experiment.

 

As soon as things are sorted out, Ilian, I intend to return here with a more useful comment. I particularly appreciate your series of letters in the Cicero versus Antony collection.

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Cicero vs. Antony <5> - "The young man must be praised, honored, and immortalized."

 

Perseus site is still down, but I got it done anyway. :lol:

Regardless of the merits or vices of the late Republic, I can but feel melancholy about its collapse vividly described in these last letters. Also amid the turmoil, it is rather poignant to see private aspects such as Cicero's interest in his son and Brutus' concern for his nephews.

 

Anyway, what are your views about Brutus letters? At one time, their genuiness was questioned, but now I understand that they are accepted as genuine except two letters which I did not include, one to Atticus and another to Cicero. My impression is that accepted consensus is that they are spurious, but some do belive that these are also genuine.

I know nothing of Latinity, but the last letter that I included (Cicero to Brutus) seems to me a bit suspect because the last paragraph seems somewhat contradictory. Any opinion on this? Is anyone here familiar with publication/rediscovery history of Brutus letters and care to share with us?

Edited by theilian

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Cicero vs. Antony <5> - "The young man must be praised, honored, and immortalized put aside."

 

"Believe me, Brutus, as one not given to self-depreciation, I am a spent force. The Senate was my right arm, and it has lost its cunning."

 

I do wonder what would have happened had Cassius and Brutus returned to Italy--as Cicero begged of them-- and won Lepidus to their side.

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Cicero vs. Antony <5> - "The young man must be praised, honored, and immortalized put aside."

 

Yeah, I probably should change it. Shuckburgh translated it as 'got rid of' and Bailey as 'get the push'. I was trying to find a word that describes both being 'exalted' and 'got rid of' Believe me, this is my only blatant attempt to 'improve' Shuckburgh & Bailey and besides got 'immortalized' from different translation. So any suggestion how this (in)famous quote should be translated?

 

I do wonder what would have happened had Cassius and Brutus returned to Italy--as Cicero begged of them-- and won Lepidus to their side.

 

I believe Cicero began to ask for their troops after Lepidus joined Antony. So maybe it was too late, but then maybe with Plancus, Pollio, Cornifius and others still on table, Brutus and Cassius might have tipped the balance. But still I'm not sure if Brutus and Cassius were ready by then.

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Yeah, I probably should change it. Shuckburgh translated it as 'got rid of' and Bailey as 'get the push'. I was trying to find a word that describes both being 'exalted' and 'got rid of' Believe me, this is my only blatant attempt to 'improve' Shuckburgh & Bailey and besides got 'immortalized' from different translation. So any suggestion how this (in)famous quote should be translated?

 

Hmmm, let's look at the a little more of the passage in Latin and English and see what we can come up with. I have highlighted the key words in both as addressed in your post above:

 

nisi dictum quod diceret te dixisse, laudandum adolescentem, ornandum, tollendum; se non esse commissurum, ut tolli posset.

 

except as to a remark which he attributed to you: "the young man must be praised, honored, and immortalized." He said that he had no intention of letting himself got rid of.

 

In the Latin differnt forms of the verb tollere (tollendum and tolli ) have been used for both which can mean: lift, raise; destroy; remove, steal; take/lift up/away. You don't usually see tollere used with the more negative definitions (raise; destroy; remove, steal) yet they are valid so it does make interesting wordplay.

 

Perhaps you could use "Lifted up" which can be interpeted as "Lifted up in praise" or "lifted up and disposed of". So maybe like this:

 

except as to a remark which he attributed to you: "the young man must be praised, honored, and lifted up." He said that he had no intention of letting himself get "lifted up".

 

I'll knock this around a little more and see what I can come up with.

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Yeah, I probably should change it. Shuckburgh translated it as 'got rid of' and Bailey as 'get the push'. I was trying to find a word that describes both being 'exalted' and 'got rid of' Believe me, this is my only blatant attempt to 'improve' Shuckburgh & Bailey and besides got 'immortalized' from different translation. So any suggestion how this (in)famous quote should be translated?

 

Hmmm, let's look at the a little more of the passage in Latin and English and see what we can come up with. I have highlighted the key words in both as addressed in your post above:

 

nisi dictum quod diceret te dixisse, laudandum adolescentem, ornandum, tollendum; se non esse commissurum, ut tolli posset.

 

except as to a remark which he attributed to you: "the young man must be praised, honored, and immortalized." He said that he had no intention of letting himself got rid of.

 

In the Latin differnt forms of the verb tollere (tollendum and tolli ) have been used for both which can mean: lift, raise; destroy; remove, steal; take/lift up/away. You don't usually see tollere used with the more negative definitions (raise; destroy; remove, steal) yet they are valid so it does make interesting wordplay.

 

Perhaps you could use "Lifted up" which can be interpeted as "Lifted up in praise" or "lifted up and disposed of". So maybe like this:

 

except as to a remark which he attributed to you: "the young man must be praised, honored, and lifted up." He said that he had no intention of letting himself get "lifted up".

 

I'll knock this around a little more and see what I can come up with.

 

I find this absolutely fascinating - and doesn't it sum up Cicero's wit and clever wordplay in a nutshell? Thank you PNS for highlighting this ambiguity in the way the two words are used, for I think it renders the double-entendre that would have had far more literary/verbal impact in Roman times - sort of a clever bon mot. On a lighter note - perhaps Cicero should have definitely left it as 'immortalised' - posterity would have claimed him as a prophet! :D

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except as to a remark which he attributed to you: "the young man must be praised, honored, and lifted up." He said that he had no intention of letting himself get "lifted up".

 

I'll knock this around a little more and see what I can come up with.

I was going to go with Bailey version, but I think this is perfect. :ph34r:

 

 

Now going back to the very beginning, here are the earliest letters from our pal Cicero:

 

Novus Homo (65-50 BC) - "The state of things in regard to my candidature..."

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Cultural letters (66-51 BC) - "A letter does not blush."

 

These are rather miscellaneous collection regarding cultural topics such as collecting Greek art, 'history' writing, grand opening of Pompey's theater, preserving house of Epicurus, comment on Lucretius' poetry, and nature of letter writing, etc.

 

For rest of new letters I am planning to add (such as more exile letters), I think I'll just incorporate them into the existing series as I update them and post them on my new website. But I'm not sure about Trebatius/Gallic war letters: I don't know where I should put them or if they are worth a new series.

Edited by theilian

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One of the nice things about the internet is that it's possible to use hyperlinks to arrange the same material in multiple ways. If you're so inclined, you might choose to take a long look at Caesar through Cicero's eyes.

 

Caesar's Early Career

Cicero Against Cat. 1.15, 4.7-10; Pro Mur. 81; Pro Sulla 11-12, 67-68, 81

Caesar's Consulship (59)

Cicero, Letters to Atticus 1.16-19, 2.1, 3-24 (S-B nos. 16-19, 21, 23-44)

Letters to His Brother Quintus 1.2 (S-B no. 2, in Letters to His Friends)

In Vatiniam 24-25

Caesar's Proconsulship (58-57)

Cicero, Att. 3.15, 18 (S-B nos. 60, 63)

Letters to his Friends, 1.9 (S-B no. 20)

de Dom. 40, 66

de Haru. Resp. 48

Sest. 71

Prov. Cons. 43

Piso, 79-80

Caesar's Proconsulship (56-53)

Cicero, Letters to Atticus 4.1, 8, 16-19 (S-B nos. 73, 82, 89-93)

Letters to His Friends 1.1-2, 4-5, 7-9 (S-B nos. 12-16, 18-20)

Letters to His Brother Quintus 2.2-3, 2.5-7, 2.14-3.2, 3.5-6 (S-B nos. 6-7, 9-11, 18-22, 25-26)

De Provinciis Consularibus 1-47

Caesar's Proconsulship (52-49)

Cicero, Letters to Atticus 5.2, 11, 19; 6.1-3, 8-9; 7.1, 3-9; 8.3, 15A (S-B nos. 95, 104, 112, 115-117, 122-124, 126-132, 153, 165A)

Letters to His Friends 2.7; 6.6; 7.11; 8.1-2, 4-6, 8-14 (S-B nos. 34, 77-78, 81-84, 86-88, 91, 97-98, 107, 234)

De Provinciis Consularibus 36-37

Caesar's Treason

Cicero, Letters to Atticus 7.10-24, 8.4, 6, 8, 11, 11A, 12B, 12C, 12D, 15, 15A, 16, 9.2a, 6, 6A, 7, 7A, 7B, 7C, 11, 11A, 13a, 13A, 14-16, 18-19, 10.4.8-11, 8A, 8B, 9A, 10. (S-B nos. 133-36, 138-48, 154, 156, 158, 161, 161A, 162 A, 162B, 162C, 162D, 165, 165A, 166, 169, 172, 172A, 174, 174A, 174B, 174C, 181, 181A, 182-83, 185, 187, 189, 195.8-11, 199A, 199B, 200A, 201)

Letters to His Friends 8.15-16, 9.9 (S-B nos. 149, 153, 157)

Caesar's Dictatorship, Assassination, and Aftermath

Cicero, Letters to Atticus 12.45, 13.26-28, 31, 37, 40, 44, 50-52, 14.1-2, 4, 6, 21, 15.3-4 (S-B nos. 286, 290, 298-299, 302, 336, 340, 343, 346, 348-349, 353, 355-356, 358, 360, 375, 380-381)

Letters to His Friends 4.4, 8-9, 13, 6.1, 6, 13, 7.30, 9.15-17, 11.27 (S-B nos. 190, 195-196, 203, 218, 225, 227,229, 231, 234, 242, 265, 348)

Pro Marcello 23-29

Philippics 1.3-4, 18-24, 32; 2.24-36, 71, 74, 84-91, 108-111, 116; 3.12; 5.38, 49; 7.16; 10.7; 13.17, 31, 40-41, 47

 

Your clear arrangement of Cicero's work regarding Caesar is much appreciated; it made my fifteen-minute presentation on him a much easier ordeal.

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