1. GeorgeTheBrit New Member

    Planning on getting a tattoo that reminds me that no matter how bad things are, I am a man and every man in history has had bad times. While also reminding me that no matter how good things are, every man in history has had good times.

    The story of Roman generals having slaves whisper “you are only a man” into their ear during triumphs and celebrations intrigues me. So was wondering what the slaves actually whispered so I could get it tattooed.

    The only translation I have found so far is “momento homo”, but thought coming here and checking before permanently inking it on me was the only reasonable thing to do.

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Adrian Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    If my memory serves me right , the slave whispered to triumphant leader Respice post te. Hominem te esse memento - Look behind you . Remember that you are a human.

    If you want translate only the phrase "You are only a human"; than one can express it like Homo tu [solum/ tantum/ tantummodo] es"
    Last edited by Adrian, Apr 15, 2019 at 6:47 AM
  3. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    It's most likely a myth, if one looks at the actual evidence and not Hollywood reconstructions. However, I have an idea we've been through this before. Does it ring a bell with anyone, to save time?
  4. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    I learnt it as a fact ... from a professor in ancient history. It was supposed to be what a slave whispered to the triumphant one.
  5. Etaoin Shrdlu Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
  6. Hadassah Branch Member

    Location:
    Grove of Dodona
    I actually read this is a Latin textbook saying that when a general returns from a triumphant enterprise, he would be given 'imperium' or military power. Upon return, his entrance to the city would be greeted by citizens and the common people who would treat him like a god. Amidst the glory, they would a reminder to the general to counter his pride. The answer is my signature below. Good luck with the tat!
  7. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    Well, he would already have imperium on his military enterprise, otherwise he couldn't command any troops. I actually thought you had to give up your imperium upon returning to the city.
  8. Hadassah Branch Member

    Location:
    Grove of Dodona
    Oh, yeah. Sorry about that. Do you happen to remember which god he was supposed to incarnate or was he just god as in a general deity? I thought of maybe Mars, but not sure...
  9. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    I haven't heard of Roman generals identifying themselves with a particular deity on a triumph, before.
    Hadassah Branch likes this.
  10. Hadassah Branch Member

    Location:
    Grove of Dodona
    Hmmm... This subject is very interesting. I hope the others can give more info on this one. I just read one text on this so it probably doesn't behoove me to be a reference on the background on this story.
  11. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    The source is Tertullian:
    Hominem se esse etiam triumphans in illo sublimissimo curru admonetur; suggeritur enim ei a tergo: "Respice post te! Hominem te memento!"

    This has often been confused with the phrase memento mori, leading some modern sources to say that memento mori was uttered to a triumphing general. That's unsupported.

    The thing is Tertullian was living at a time where, I believe, the only people who had triumphed for centuries were emperors (who did not need to hominem se meminisse), so his account is not reliable and probably made up.
    Hadassah Branch likes this.
  12. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    oh, just noticed the Tertullian quote was already mentioned on that Reddit thread

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