First Catilinarian Oration

By leonhartu, in 'Latin Beginners', Aug 30, 2017.

  1. leonhartu Member

    "Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?", I've tried to translate it and searched for some translations and both feel kinda awkward. What I tried was:
    "Which man, to which limit, will he himself jerk about with loosen recklessness."
    What I really can't get is what "sese" is doing here, I presume it is there for emphasis but it just doesn't feels right. Anyway, can you translate it like that?
  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    It doesn't really make sense, so no.

    First of all, "quem ad finem" is one phrase (interpret it as "ad quem finem"), so "to what end". There's no "which man" in this sentence.

    "effrenata audacia" is the subject, so it's not "with loosen recklessness", and "effrenata" is better translated as "unbridled" or "unrestrained", as "loosen recklessness" isn't grammatically correct. "audacia" is better translated as "boldness".

    "sese" is the direct object of "iactabit", so "will throw itself about".

    The full sentence is literally translated as "to what end will (your) unbridled audacity throw itself about"?
    leonhartu likes this.
  3. leonhartu Member

    Also, could "Nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus" be translated as: "Nothing, even (the need) of having the senate in this most fortified place"?
  4. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    No, you're not paying attention to the case endings. "munitissimus locus" is nominative, so there's no way it could possibly be translated as "in this most fortified place".
    For this sentence it's important to look at the full context:
    Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt?
    In this sentence, "nihil" is an adverb meaning "not at all". It's essentially a more emphatic version of "non".
    The verb, moverunt, and the direct object, "te", have to be extended to apply to every part of the sentence. You could rewrite the sentence like this:
    nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati movit? nihilne te urbis vigiliae moverunt? nihilne te timor populi movit? nihilne te concursus bonorum omnium movit? nihilne te hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus movit? nihilne te horum ora voltusque moverunt?
    So "did the night watch of the Palatine hill not move you at all, did the guards of the city not move you at all, did the fear of the people not move you at all..."
    This rewriting of the sentence is not elegant at all, which is why Cicero didn't write it that way, but it's easier to get the sense across if you rewrite it that way.
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  5. leonhartu Member

    The reason I translated it as "In this (most fortified) place" was because I thought it was an adverbial hic. The reason I included "most fortified" in there even though it isn't in the ablative is because it sounds better, I think you could write "In this place much fortified" and there would be no problem(please correct me if I'm wrong, I actually don't know if this "much fortified" still counts as ablative).
    Also in "notat et desginat oculis ad caedem unum quemque nostrum" is it: "He observes and chooses with (his) eyes each one of us to slain"?
    Thanks for helping me, you've been very explicative and friendly.
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    hic can be an adverb meaning "here", but it can't then attract other words into performing the roles of a different case.
    "in this place much fortified" would still require every word to be ablative because it means the same thing as "in this much fortified place", it's just a different word order.
    That's pretty close. "to slain" isn't grammatically correct, you can say something like "for death/slaughter", or less literally "to kill/slay".
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  7. leonhartu Member

    "Ad mortem te, Catilina, duci iussu consulis iam pridem oportebat, in te conferri pestem, quam tu in nos [omnes iam diu] machinaris."
    To your death, Catiline, Required long ago by order of the consul, to carry destruction into yourself, as long as you plan against us all.
    I don't know if "iam diu" mean something specific or it is related to "quam diu" "as long as", in the first case would it be:
    "As you (that) even now plan against us all by all day."?
  8. rothbard Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I think "iam diu" means just "already for a long time".
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  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Iam diu means "for a long time (already)". In English, you would say "which you have been plotting against us for a long time", but when in English "have been [verb]ing" refers to something that continues into the present, implying "one has been [verb]ing (and still is [verb]ing)", Latin uses the present tense, hence machinaris here.

    There are problems in the rest of your translation, too. Ad mortem te duci and in te conferri pestem both go with oportebat. Literally "it was necessary/proper long ago [for] you to be led to death by order of the consul, [and for] the destruction to be brought upon you, which you etc. (see above)". Quam is "which", referring to pestem.

    You can rephrase it in better English as "you should long ago have been led to death etc."
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  10. leonhartu Member

    "An vero vir amplissumus, P. Scipio, pontifex maximus, Ti. Gracchum mediocriter labefactantem statum rei publicae privatus interfecit; Catilinam orbem terrae caede atque incendiis vastare cupientem nos consules perferemus? Nam illa nimis antiqua praetereo, quod C. Servilius Ahala Sp. Maelium novis rebus studentem manu sua occidit. Fuit, fuit ista quondam in hac re publica virtus, ut viri fortes acrioribus suppliciis civem perniciosum quam acerbissimum hostem coercerent. Habemus senatus consultum in te, Catilina, vehemens et grave, non deest rei publicae consilium neque auctoritas huius ordinis; nos, nos, dico aperte, consules desumus."

    Or this greater man, P. Scipio, the maximus pontifex, Ti. Killed Gracchum even though shaking moderately the situation of the state? Yet, we consuls shall endure the desirous Catiline devastating the territory of the country with flames? On the other hand I pass over those old things, because C. Servilius Ahala with his own hand killed Maelium for new things. He was, he was once that strength of the state in this event(affair), as the strong men might punish the dangerous citizen(enemy of the state) with vigorous tortures (that are) as harsh as possible. We have the senate resolution about you, Catilina, severe and painful (resolution), by no means the wanting deliberation of the state and neither the authority of this order(wanting deliberation); we, we, I say (it) openly, we consuls wanting.

    "Catilinam orbem terrae caede atque incendiis vastare cupientem nos consules perferemus?"
    What does "caede" means here? The only appropriate use I could find for it here was changing the meaning of "atque" from "yet" to "and", thus: "Shall we consuls endure the desirous Catiline devastating the territory of the country(state) with flames and blood?". But I find this use kinda strange because I fell that it doesn't connects with the previous statement.

    "non deest [...], consules desumus."
    I don't know what is the appropriate use of "deest, desumus", here I assumed that it meant "wanting" in the sense of "the will of", like "The will of the consuls(senate, this order authority)".

    "novis rebus"
    I think "for new things" isn't right, I find it too literall.

    Well, that are the doubts that I remember for now, and the mistakes that I can perceive.
  11. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    Various things along with the questions.

    - amplissumus is superlative.
    - It's fine to leave praenomina as initials, but here's a list if you haven't checked it already:
    - We say pontifex maximus in English as well.
    - With names, make sure to change accusatives to what we use in English (Gracchum > Gracchus).
    - You didn't translate privatus.
    atque (and ac) are very common words that mean 'and'. at on its own can mean 'yet'. Here, atque is joining caede and incendiis, and your translation is close. You can translate caedes (from caedere) as butchery, slaughter, etc.

    - vastare is dependent on cupientem.
    - orbem terrae (literally, 'circle of land/earth') is a phrase you can just translate as 'world'.
    - nam can have an adversative force, but the usual translation of 'for' works here.
    - quod doesn't mean 'because' here; more 'that', explaining the illa nimis antiqua.
    - Maelium: same thing as Gracchum above; also don't forget to include Sp. (i.e., Spurius).
    - You didn't translate studentem which goes with novis rebus.
    It's ablative going with studentem. 'New things' is indeed the literal translation, and a more idiomatic way it's translated is 'revolution'.

    - Fuit, fuit ista...: If a fuit or fuerunt begins a sentence, you can usually translate it as "there was/were".
    - You translated in hac re publica as "of the state in this event(affair)", but remember what res publica means (which you translated correctly above with statum rei publicae).
    - ut viri fortes...coercerent: what kind of subjunctive clause is this?
    - "the dangerous citizen(enemy of the state) with vigorous tortures (that are) as harsh as possible": some work needed here. Both civem perniciosum and acerbissimum hostem are objects of coercerent. And notice they're separated by quam, and we have a comparative with acrioribus. Rework this one.
    - "about you": how would you translate in te literally?
    You can see the meaning here from L&S:

    II. Pregn., to fail, be wanting in one's duty, as in rendering assistance, etc.; not to assist or serve, to desert one, to neglect a person or thing.

    That should help.
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  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    You mean dative.

    Also, Leonhartu, be careful not to translate finite verbs like deest or desumus as if they were present participles like "wanting".
  13. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    Thanks for that correction.
  14. leonhartu Member

    "Or this greatest man..."

    "(Publius Scipio)A private citizen, killed Gracchus even though shaking moderately the situation of the state?"

    "Shall we consuls endure Catiline willing to devastate the world with flames and butchery?"
    "For those old things I pass over..."
    "That Gaius Servilius Ahala with his own hand killed Maelius being eager for a revolution."

    "There was, there was once that strength in the state, when the strong men they themselves punished the dangerous citizen as (they themselves punished) the enemy (of the state) with vigorous tortures harshest as possible."
    "Against you"

    "Not the resolution the senate wants, neither the decree of this order: we, we, I say (it) openly, (the resolution) we consuls want."
  15. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    There may be other things to correct (I haven't read the whole post carefully), but I think you are misunderstanding the word deesse. In the definition that AoM posted, "want" means "to lack", not "to desire". A better translation of deesse here is "to fail in his/her/their/our duty".
  16. leonhartu Member


    Would it be something like "The resolution of the state doesn't fails in her duty, neither the decree of this order. We, we, I say(it) openly, we consuls fail in our duty."
    If this happens to be the case, shouldn't Cicero, since "deest" is constructed with the dative of the person, use "Consulibus" instead of "Consules" and "Consilio" rather than "Consilium"?
    Last edited by leonhartu, Sep 18, 2017
  17. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    Yes, something like that, though it's a bit odd to call a resolution a "her" (I'd say "its"), and "nor" is better English here than "neither".

    deest is only constructed with the dative in things like "senatus deest mihi" = "the senate fails in their duty to me".
  18. leonhartu Member

    Yeah, now that I think about it it's indeed strange, I think it was Portuguese speaking out loud here.
  19. leonhartu Member

    II. Decrevit quondam senatus, ut L. Opimius consul videret, ne quid res publica detrimenti caperet; nox nulla intercessit; interfectus est propter quasdam seditionum suspiciones C. Gracchus, clarissimo patre, avo, maioribus, occisus est cum liberis M. Fulvius consularis. Simili senatus consulto C. Mario et L. Valerio consulibus est permissa res publica; num unum diem postea L. Saturninum tribunum pl. et C. Servilium praetorem mors ac rei publicae poena remorata est? At [vero] nos vicesimum iam diem patimur hebescere aciem horum auctoritatis. Habemus enim huiusce modi senatus consultum, verum inclusum in tabulis tamquam in vagina reconditum, quo ex senatus consulto confestim te interfectum esse, Catilina, convenit. Vivis, et vivis non ad deponendam, sed ad confirmandam audaciam. Cupio, patres conscripti, me esse clementem, cupio in tantis rei publicae periculis me non dissolutum videri, sed iam me ipse inertiae nequitiaeque condemno.

    The senate once declined,(that) the Consul Lucius Opimius to consider, the state not to take hold of some diminishment; not any night was interruped; Gaius Gracchus that was killed on account of some suspicions of rebellions, a brightest father, grandfather, ancestor, the consul M. Fulvius having the children killed. Deliberately the senate to a similar manner entrusted the state to the consuls Gaius Marius and Lucius Varius; Then a single day afterwards the death and penalty of the State was delayed for L. Saturninus Tribunus and Gaius Servilius Praetores? But in reality for the twenth day by now we suffer to grow feeble the sharpness of these autority. We have indeed of this way the senate decision, the real (one) included in records just as in the scabbard hidden, in which as a result of the senate deliberation to be fit to kill you without delay, Catilina. You survive, and you survive not to put aside, but to strengthen the audacity. I wish, the enlisted fathers, to be merciful to me, I desire with regard to the many dangers of the state not to see me destroyed, but by now I myself condemn myself of wickedness and ignorance

    "Decrevit quondam senatus, ut L. Opimius consul videret, ne quid res publica detrimenti caperet;"
    I am having a serious problem with "ut...videret" and "ne...caperet" they don't seem to make any sense at all.

    "Occisus est cum liberis M. Fulvius consularis."
    I think I quite get what this phrase means, but I can't construct it. All I can get is "With the children having been killed" But then I can't find "Marcus Fulvius consularis." in the phrase.

    I still have some questions but it is really late.
  20. AoM nulli numeri

    • Civis Illustris
    It's explaining what the decree was. And then that introduces the ne clause. So something like, "that he see to it that..."

    Not decline, but decree, decide, etc.

    You can just say "no". And intercessit is active, which you can translate literally (inter + cessit).

    No "that". clarissimo patre, avo, maioribus are all ablatives, so they can't be referring to Gracchus. Why do you think they're in the ablative?

    occisus is nominative, so it can't be referring to the children. Also, it's passive. So some masculine subject is having this done to him, to which Cicero adds cum liberis.

    est permissa is passive, with a feminine subject. simili...consulto is ablative, and senatus genitive.

    I'd stress num more (which is anticipating a "no"). Also, don't forget pl., which is short for plebis. And praetorem, not praetores (not a part of his name).

    I assume that's a typo for twentieth. And "by" isn't really needed. A better translation for patimur here is 'allow', which is taking an object. Also, horum is joined with auctoritatis, but it isn't modifying it.

    huiusce modi is going with senatus consultum. Here, verum = sed. The usual translation for tamquam is 'as if' (and I would put "hidden" before "in the scabbard"). Your translation for quo ex senatus consulto is overly complicated. You can shorten it to the same number of words as in the Latin. convenit is impersonal here, and interfectum esse is passive.

    I'd change "the audacity" to "your audacity". cupio is introducing indirect statement. So, "I wish/desire that I..." But in idiomatic English we'd leave out me entirely. For dissolutum (from L&S):

    B. Of character, lax, remiss, negligent, inattentive, careless; licentious, dissolute

    videri is passive. I'd use 'accuse' rather than 'condemn'. And for nequitiae (from L&S):

    A.Idleness, inactivity, remissness, negligence:
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