Germania and Agricola
by Caius Cornelius Tacitus
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Ex eo, sc. A. Pass. and Dr. understand it of the Irish chief, and infer that T. had been in Brit. But A. is the subject of the next sentence without the repetition of his name, as it would have been repeated, if this sentence referred to another.

XXV. Amplexus. Some supply bello, as in 17: bello amplexus. But better: embracing in his plan of operations, i.e. extending his operations to those tribes.

Hostilis exercitus. Al. hostili exercitu. But hostilis exercitus in the MSS. and earliest editions.—Infesta is here active: hostile inroads of the enemy's forces.

In partem virium. For, i.e. as a part of his force.

Impelleretur, was borne on with rapid and resistless power.

Profunda—adversa. Cf. note, 6: inania honoris.

Mixti copiis et laetitia. Uniting their stores and their pleasures, i.e. their respective means of entertainment. For mixti, cf. 4: locum—mixtum. For copiis in this sense, 22: annuis copiis. For the other sense, viz. forces, 24: copiis, note.

Hinc—hinc==on this side—on that. Cf. note G. 14: illum—illam.— Victus. Al. auctus.

Ad manus et arma. Ang. to arms.

Oppugnasse depends on fama. Their preparations were great. Rumor as usual (uti mos, etc.) represented them still greater; for the rumor went abroad, that the Caledonians had commenced offensive operations (oppugnasse ultra).—Castella adorti is the means by which they metum addiderant, i.e. had inspired additional fear.

Pluribus agminibus. In several divisions. Accordingly it is added: diviso et ipse, A. himself also, i.e. as well as the Britons, having divided, etc.

Agmen (from ago), properly a body of men on the march.—Exercitus, under military drill (exerceo.)

XXVI. Quod ubi, etc. When this was known, etc. Latin writers, as well as Greek, generally link their sentences, chapters, &c., more closely together, than English. Hence we are often obliged to render their relative by our demonstrative. See Z. 803. Ubi, here adv. of time, as in 20, 38, et passim.

Certabant. Not fought with the enemy, but vied with each other. So below: utroque—certante. Hence followed by de gloria, not pro gloria, which some would substitute for it; secure for (in regard to) safety, they vied with each other in respect to (or in) glory. With pro salute, cf. His. 4, 58: pro me securior.

Erupere. Sallied forth, sc. from the camp.

Utroque exercitu. Each of the two Roman armies.

Quod. Cf. 12, note.—Debellatum, lit. the war would have been fought out, i.e. ended.

XXVII. Cujus refers to victoria in the previous section (cf. quod 26, note): inspirited by the consciousness and the glory of this victory.

Modo cauti. Compare the sentiment with 25: specie prudentium, etc.

Arte—rati, al. arte usos rati by conjecture. But T. is fond of such ellipses: The Britons, thinking it was not by superior bravery, but by favoring circumstances (on the part of the Romans) and the skill of their commander (sc. that they had been defeated). Rit. reads superati.

Utrimque. Both the Romans and the Britons; the Romans excited by their victory, the Britons by their coetibus ac sacrificiis.

Discessum. They separated, viz. after the battle and at the close of the campaign.

XXVIII. Cohors Usipiorum. See same story, Dio Cass. 66, 20.

Adactis. Forced on board.—Remiganto==gubernante, to avoid sameness, with gubernatoribus, Br. R. supposes that having but one pilot left, only the vessel on which he sailed was rowed, while the others were towed by it; and this rowing under his direction is ascribed to him. Some MSS. and many editions read remigrante, which some translate: making his escape, and others connect with interfectis, and suppose that he also was slain in trying to bring back his boat to shore. Whether we read remigante or remigrante, the signification of either is unusual.

Praevehebantur. Sailed along the coast (in sight of land).

Inopiae is governed by eo, which is the old dat.==to such a degree. —Ad extremum==at last.

Vescerentur followed by the acc. H. 419, 4. 1; Z. 466. For the imp. subj. cf. note 21: ut—concupiscerent.

Amissis—navibus. This is regarded by some as proof that all the steersmen were slain or escaped. Dr. answers, that it may refer only to the two ships that were without steersmen.

Suevis. A people of Northern Germany (G. 38, seq.) whither, after having circumnavigated Britain, the Usipii came.—Mox, subsequently, some having escaped the Suevi.

Per commercia. In trade, cf. same in 39.

Nostram ripam. The Gallic bank of the Rhine, which was the border of the Roman Empire, cf. G. passim.

Quos—indicium—illustravit. Whom the account of so wonderful an adventure rendered illustrious. The rule would require the subj. H. 501, I. 2; Z. 561.

XXIX. Initio aestatis, i.e. in the beginning of the next summer (the 7th campaign, cf. 25: aestate, qua sextum, etc.), as the whole history shows. See especially proximo anno, 34. Hence the propriety of commencing a new section here. The common editions begin it below: Igitur, etc.

Plerique. Cf. note on it, 1.—Fortium virorum. Military men.

Ambitiose, with affected fortitude, stoically.—Rursus==contra, on the contrary, showing the antith. between ambitiose and per lamenta. —Per lamenta, cf. 6: per caritatem.—Igitur, cf. 13, note.

Quae—faceret==ut ea faceret. H. 500; Z. 567. Incertum is explained by pluribus locis. Render: general alarm.—Expedito==sine impedimentis, armis solis instructo. Fac. and For.—Montem Grampium. Now Grampian hills.

Cruda—senectus. Cf. Virg. Aen. 6, 304: sed cruda deo viridisque senectus. Crudus is rarely found in this sense except in the poets. Crudus properly==bloody (cruor, cruidus); hence the successive significations, raw, unripe, fresh, vigorous.—Sua decora==praemia ob virtutem bellicam accepta. E. Any and all badges of distinction, especially in arms. Wr., Or. and Dod.

XXX. Causas belli. Explained by universi servitutis expertes below, to be the defence of their liberties. In like manner, nostram necessitatem is explained by nullae ultra terrae: there is no retreat for us, etc.—Animus, Confidence.

Proelium—arma. T. has a passion for pairs of words, especially nouns, of kindred signification. See examples in Index to Histories; and in this chapter, spem ac subsidium; recessus ac sinus; obsequiam ac modestiam.

Priores pugnae, sc. in which the Caledonians took no part.—Pugnae is here, by a figure put for the combatants themselves, who are represented as looking to the Caledonians, as a kind of corps de reserve, or last resource.

Eo. For that reason. The best things are always kept guarded and concealed in the penetralia. There may also be a reference to a fact stated by Caesar (B.G. 5, 12), that the inhabitants of the interior were aborigines, while those on the coast were immigrants.

_Terrarum—extremos_. _The remotest of men and last of freemen_. —_Recessus—famae_. _Our very remoteness and obscurity_. This is the most common and perhaps the most simple translation, making _sinus famae_==seclusion in respect to fame. Perhaps, however, it accords as well with the usual signification of the words, and better with the connexion and spirit of the speech, to take _sinus famae_ in the sense, _retreat of glory_, or _glorious retreat_. So Wr. His interpretation of the passage and its connexion is as follows: _our very remoteness and our glorious retreat have guarded us till this day. But now the furthest extremity of Brit. is laid open_ (i.e. our retreat is no longer a safeguard); _and every thing unknown is esteemed great (i.e. this safeguard also is removed—the Romans in our midst no longer magnify our strength). Rit. encloses the clause in brackets, as a gloss. He renders _sinus famae, bosom of fame_, fame being personified as a goddess. R., Dr., Or. make _famae_ dative after _defendit_==has _kept back from fame_.

Sed nulla jam, etc. But now all the above grounds of confidence—our remoteness, our glory, our greatness magnified by the imagination of our enemies, from the very fact that we were unknown to them—all these are removed; we have none behind us to fall back upon, as our countrymen in former battles have leaned upon us—and we are reduced to the necessity of self-defence and self-reliance. The sed seems to be antithetic to the whole as far back as priores pugnae; whereas nunc is opposed only to the clause which immediately precedes it, and constitutes an antithesis within an antithesis.

Infestiores, sc. quam fluctus et saxa.

Effugeris. Cf. note G. 19: non invenerit; also satiaverit just below.

Et mare. Et==also. Cf. note, G. 11.

Opes atque inopiam. Abs. for conc.==rich and poor nations.

Falsis nominibus is by some connected with rapere. But better with appellant. They call things by false names, viz. plunder, empire; and desolation, peace.

XXXI. Annos==annonam, yearly produce, cf. G. 14: expectare annum. So often in the Poets.—In frumentum. For supplies. The reading of this clause is much disputed. The text follows that of W. and R. and is approved by Freund. For the meaning of egerunt, cf. praedam egesserunt, H. 3, 33.

Silvis—emuniendis==viis per silvas et paludes muniendis. E.

Semel. Once for all, G. 19.—Emit, sc. tributis pendendis; pascit, sc. frumento praebendo. E.

Portus, quibus exercendis. W. and Dr. explain this of collecting revenue at the ports (i.e. farming them), a thing unknown to the early Britons; Wr. of rowing, servile labor. Why not refer it to the construction or improvement of harbors? By rendering exercendis, working, improving, we make it applicable alike to harbors, mines and fields.—Reservemur. Subj. in a relative clause denoting a purpose. H. 500; Z. 567.

Potuere. Observe the ind., where we use the potential. It is especially frequent with possum, debeo, &c. Z. 518 and 519.

Nonne implies an affirmative answer. Z. 352, and H. 346, II. 1. 2.

In poenitentiam, al. in praesentiam. The general idea is essentially the same with either reading. Non in praesentiam==not to obtain our freedom, for the present merely. Non in poenitentiam==not about to obtain our freedom merely to regret it, i.e. in such a manner as the Brigantes, who forthwith lost it by their socordia.

XXXII. Nisi si==nisi forte, cf. note, G. 2: nisi si patria.

Pudet dictu. The supine after pudet is found only here. Quintilian however has pudendum dictu. Cf. Or. in loc.; and Z. 441. 443.

Commendent, etc. Although they give up their blood to (i.e. shed it in support of) a foreign tyrant.—Tamen is antithetic to licet: although they give, yet longer enemies, than slaves (of Rome).

Metus—est. It is fear and terror (sc. that keep them in subjection), weak bonds of affection.

Removeris—desierint. Fut. perf. Cf. note, G. 23: indulseris.

Nulla—aut alia. Some of the Roman soldiers had lost all attachment to country and could not be said to have any country; others had one, but it was not Britain, it was far away.

Ne terreat. The third person of the imperative is for the most part avoided in ordinary language; and the pres. subj. is used in its stead. Z. 529, Note.

Nostras manus, i.e. those ready to join us and aid our arms, viz. (as he goes on to say), the Gauls and Germans, as well as the Britons now in the Roman ranks.—Tamquam==just as (tam-quam). Doed. renders, just as certainly as.

Vacua.—Destitute of soldiers.—Senum, sc. veterani et emeriti. Cf. note, 15. Aegra==disaffected. Cf. H. 2, 86.

Hic dux, etc. Here a general, here an army (sc. the Roman, awaits you); there tributes, mines, &c. (and you must conquer the former or endure the latter—these are your only alternatives).

In hoc campo est. Depends on this battle field.—T. has laid out all his strength on this speech. It can hardly be matched for martial force and sententious brevity. It breathes, as it should in the mouth of a Briton, an indomitable spirit of liberty, and reminds us, in many features, of the concentrated and fiery eloquence, which has so often roused our American Indians to defend their altars and revenge their wrongs.

XXXIII. Ut barbaris moris. Al. et barbari moris. But compare 39: ut Domitiano moris erat; His. 1, 15: ut moris est. Supply est here: as is the custom of (lit. to) barbarians. Z. 448, & H. 402, I.

Agmina, sc. conspiciebantur.—Procursu is the means by which the gleam of armor was brought into view.

Acies, sc. Britannorum. The Roman army was still within the camp, cf. munimentis coercitum, below.

Coercitum==qui coerceri potest. The part, used in the sense of a verbal. So monstratus, G. 31, which, Freund says, is Tacitean. The perf. part. pass. with negative prefix in often takes this sense. Z. 328. Cf. note, His. 5, 7: inexhaustum.

Octavus annus. This was Agricola's seventh summer in Britain. See note 29: initio aestatis. But it being now later in the season, than when he entered Britain, he was now entering on his eighth year. Cf. Rit. in loc.

Virtute—Romani. By the valor and favoring auspices of the Roman Empire. War was formerly carried on auspiciis Populi Rom. But after Augustus, auspiciis Imperatoris or Imperii Rom.

Expeditionibus—proeliis. These words denote the time of poenituit (in or during so many, etc.)—Patientia and labore are abl. after opus.

Terminos. Acc. after egressi (H. 371, 4): having transcended the limits. Cf. Z. 387.

Fama, rumore. Synonyms. Also castris, armis. Cf. note, 30.

Vota—aperto. Your vows and your valor now have free scope (are in the open field), cf. note 1: in aperto.

In frontem. Antith. to fugientibus. Hence==progredientibus.

Hodie. To-day, i.e. in our present circumstances of prosperity. Wr.

Nec—fuerit. Nor will it have been inglorious, sc. when the thing shall have been done and men shall look back upon our achievements. The fut. perf. is appropriate to such a conception.

Naturae fine. Cf. note, G. 45: illuc usque natura.

XXXIV. Hortarer. Literally, I would be exhorting you. The use of the imperf. subj. in hypothetical sentences, where we should use a plup. (I would have exhorted you), is frequent both in Greek and Latin, even when it denotes a complete past action, cf. Z. 525. When the action is not complete, as here, the Latin form is at once more lively and more exact than the English.—Proximo anno. This same expression may signify either the next year, or the last year. Here of course: the last year, referring to the battle described in 26, cf. also note 29: Initio aestatis.

Furto noctis. Cf. Virg. Aen. 9, 397: fraude noctis.

Contra ruere. Rush forth to meet, penetrantibus, etc. R. and Wr. take ruere for perf. 3d pl. instead of ruerunt, since T. uses the form in ere much more than that in erunt. Rit. makes it inf. after solet understood, or rather implied in pelluntur, which==pelli solent.

Quos—quod. Whom, as to the fact that you have at length found (it is not because) they have taken a stand, but they have been overtaken. Cf. Wr. and Or. in loc. On deprehensi, cf. note, 7. On quod==as to this, that, see examples in Freund, or in any Lexicon.

Novissimae—vestigiis. The extremity of their circumstances, and their bodies (motionless) with terror have brought them to a stand for battle on this spot, etc. One MS. reads novissime and omits aciem, which reading is followed in the common editions.

Extremo metu is to be closely connected with corpora. For the sense of defixere, cf. Ann. 13, 5: pavore defixis.

Ederetis. Subj. cf. H. 500, 2; Z. 556, a.

Transigite cum expeditionibus==finite expeditiones. Dr. Cf. G. 19: cum spe—transigitur, note.

Quinquaginta annis. So many years, it might be said to be in round numbers, though actually somewhat less than fifty years, since the dominion of Rome was first established in Britain under the Emperor Claudius. Cf. 13, supra.—The speech of A. is not equal to that of Galgacus. He had not so good a cause. He could not appeal to the sacred principles of justice and liberty, to the love of home and household gods. But he makes the best of a bad cause. The speech is worthy of a Roman commander, and touches with masterly skill all those chords in a Roman soldier's breast, that were never touched in vain.

XXXV. Et==both. Both while he was speaking and after he had ceased, the soldiers manifested their ardor, etc.

Instinctos. Cf. note 16: instincti.

Aciem firmarent==aciem firmam facerent, of which use there are examples not only in T., but in Liv. Dr. The auxiliary foot formea or made up (not merely strengthened) the centre.—Affunderentur. Were attached to.—Pro vallo. On the rampart; properly on the fore part of it. Cf. note, H. 1, 29.

Ingens—decus. In app. with legiones—stetere.

Bellanti, sc. Agricolae. Al. bellandi.

In speciem. Cf. in suam famam, 8, and in jactationem, 5.

Aequo. Supply consisteret to correspond with insurgeret. Zeugma. Cf. note, 18: in aequum.

Media campi. The intervening parts of the plain, sc. between the two armies.—Covinarius is found only in T. Covinarii==the essedarii of Caesar. Covinus erat currus Belgarum, a quibus cum Britanni acceperant. Dr.

Pedes. Nom. sing, in app. with subject of constitit.

XXXVI. Indentibus gladiis, etc. So below: parva scuta, etc. The small shield and broad sword of the Highlanders.

Donec—cohortatus est. Cf. note, G. 37: affectavere.—Batavorum cohortes. Al. tres—cohortes. But the number is not specified in the best MSS. In the Histories, eight cohorts of Batavians are often mentioned as constituting the auxiliaries of the 14th legion, which was now in Britain. See Rit. in loc.

Ad mucrones. The Britons were accustomed to fight with the edge of the sword, and cut and hew the enemy. The Romans, on the contrary, made use of the point. Of course in a close engagement, they would have greatly the advantage. Br.—Ad manus. The opposite of eminus, i.e. a close engagement. The same thing is expressed below by complexum armorum.

In aperto pugnam. Literally a fight in the open field, i.e. a regular pitched battle, which with its compact masses would be less favorable to the large swords of the Britons, than a battle on ground uncleared of thickets and forests. Al. in arto.

Miscere, ferire, etc. A series of inf. denoting a rapid succession of events, cf. note, 5: noscere—nosci; G. 30: praeponere.

Equitum turmae, sc. Britannorum. The word turmae is applicable to such a cavalry as theirs, cf. Ann. 14, 34: Britannorum copiae passim per catervas et turmas exsultabant. Br. Ky. and others here understand it of the Roman cavalry. But R. Dr. and Wr. apply it to the Britons, and with reason, as we shall see below, and as we might infer indeed from its close connexion with covinarii, for the covinarii were certainly Britons.

Peditum proelio, hostium agminibus. These also both refer to the Britons. The covinarii were interspersed among their own infantry, and, as the Romans advanced, became entangled with them. This is disputed. But the small number of Romans slain in the whole battle is alone enough to show, that their cavalry was not routed, nor their infantry broken in upon by the chariots of the enemy. Moreover, how could T. properly use the word hostium of his own countrymen?

Minimeque, etc. This is one passage, among a few in T., which is so manifestly corrupt that no sense can be made of it, as it stands in the MSS. The reading given in the text is the simplest of all the conjectural readings that have been proposed. It is that of Br. and E., and is followed by the common editions. Cavalry took a large part in the battle. But the battle wore little the aspect of an equestrian fight; for the Britons, after maintaining their position with difficulty for some time, were at length swept away by the bodies (the mere uncontrolled bodies) of the horses—in short, the riders had no control over horses or chariots, which rushed on without drivers obliquely athwart, or directly through the lines, as their fears severally impelled them; all which was in marked contrast to a Roman's idea of a regular battle of cavalry.

XXXVII. Vacui. Free from apprehension.

Ni. Cf. note 4: ni.—Subita belli. Unexpected emergencies arising in the course of the battle. Cf. 6: inania honoris.

Grande et atrox spectaculum, etc. See a similar description in Sal. Jug. 101. The series of infinitives and the omission of the connectives (asyndeton) make the succession of events very rapid and animated. Compare the famous veni, vidi, vici, of Caesar.

Prout—erat. According to their different natural disposition, i.e. the timid, though armed, turned their backs before inferior numbers; while the brave, though unarmed, met death in the face.

Praestare terga is an expression found only in T.

Et aliquando, etc. Et==ac tamen. And yet (notwithstanding the flight of crowds and the passive death of some as above) sometimes to the conquered also there was anger and bravery. The language is Virgilian, cf. Aen. 2, 367.

Quod. Cf. note 12.—Ni frequens—fiduciam foret. "Had not A., who was everywhere present, caused some strong and lightly equipped cohorts to encompass the ground, while part of the cavalry having dismounted, made their way through the thickets, and part on horseback scoured the open woods, some disaster would have prcoeeded from this excess of confidence." Ky.

XXXVIII. Gaudio praedaque laeta. Cf. note, G. 7: cibos et hortamina. Observe also the juxtaposition of tempestate and fama in this same chapter.

Separare, sc. consilia, i.e. they sometimes act in concert, sometimes provide only for their individual safety.

Pignorum. Cf. note G. 7: pignora—Saevisse. Laid violent hands. "This picture of rage and despair, of tenderness, fury, and the tumult of contending passions, has all the fine touches of a master who has studied human nature." Mur.—Secreti==deserti.

Ubi. When, cf. 26. Its direct influence extends to nequibat, and with its clause, it expresses the reason why A. drew off his forces into the country of the Horesti.—Spargi bellum==diversis locis, vel diviso exercitu, vel vagando bellum geri. E.

Secunda—fama. Favored by the weather and the glory of their past achievements (lit. the weather and fame following them, secunda ==sequunda.)

Trutulensem portum. Some port, now unknown, probably near the mouth of the Tay or the Forth. Unde qualifies lecto. E. With redierat a corresponding adv. denoting whither, is to be supplied: whence it had set sail, and whither, after having surveyed all the nearest coast of Britain, it had now returned. Had returned, i.e. prior to entering the port; the action of redierat, was prior to that of tenuit. Hence plup. Proximo, nearest, sc. to the scene of Agricola's operations, i.e. the whole northern coast from the Forth to the Clyde and back again. This was all that was necessary to prove Britain to be an island (cf. chap. 10), the southern coast having been previously explored.

XXXIX. Actum. Al. auctum, a conjecture of Lipsius. Actum==treated of, reported.—Moris erat. H. 402, I.; Z. 448, N. 1. N. 1.

Falsum—triumphum. He had returned without so much as seeing the enemy (Dio Cass. 67, 4); and yet he bought slaves, dressed them in German style, had their hair stained red (G. 4: rutilae comae) and left long, so as to resemble Germans, and then marched in triumph into Rome with his train of pretended captives! Caligula had done the same before him. Suet. Calig. 47.

Formarentur. Subj. in a relative clause denoting a purpose (quorum==ut eorum). H. 500; Z. 567.

Studia—acta. Lawyers and politicians, all public men, had been gagged and silenced by Domitian.

Alius. Another than the Emperor.—Occuparet==pre-occupy, so as to rob him of it.

Utcumque. Somehow, possibly, perhaps. Other things perhaps were more easily concealed; but the merit of a good commander was an imperial prerogative.

Quodque—satiatus. And what was a proof of some cruel purpose, wholly absorbed in his retirement (where he never plotted any thing but mischief, and where in early life he is said to have amused himself with killing flies, Suet. Dom. 3). Cf. Plin. Panegyr. 48: nec unquam ex solitudine sua prodeuntem, nisi ut solitudinem faceret. The whole passage in Pliny is a graphic picture of the same tyrant, the workings of whose heart are here so laid bare by the pen of Pliny's friend Tacitus. Secreto—satiatus may also be translated: satisfied with his own secret, i.e. keeping to himself his cherished hatred and jealousy.— Languesceret. Subj. after donec. Cf. note, G. 37: affectavere.

Reponere odium. See lexicon under repono for this phrase.

Impetus—exercitus. Until the freshness of his glory, and his popularity with the army should gradually decline.

Etiam tum obtinebat, i.e. he was still in possession of the government, and of course in command of the army, in Britain.

XL. Triumphalia ornamenta. Not a real triumph, which from the reign of Augustus was conceded only to the Emperor or the princes of the Imperial Family; but triumphal insignia, such as the corona, laurea, toga praetexta, tunica palmata, sella curulis, &c. Dr.

Illustris statuae. Called laureata, Ann. 4, 23; triumphalis, His. 1, 79.

Quidquid datur. Besides the ornamenta above mentioned, sacrifices and thanksgivings were offered in the name of the victorious commander. Dr.

Addique. Al. additque. Addique is the reading of the MSS. and old editions. And it suits better the genius of Dom.; he did not express the opinionem himself, for it was not his real intention, but he ordered some one to put it in circulation as if from him, that he might have the credit of it and yet not be bound by it.—Destinari, sc. by Domitian.

Majoribus reservatam. Majoribus==illustrioribus. Syria was the richest province in the Empire, and the praefectship of it the most honorable office.

Ex secretioribus ministeriis. One of his private secretaries, or confidential agents.

Codicillos. Under the Emperors this word is used to denote an imperial letter or diploma. Properly a billet, diminutive of codex, tablet (==caudex, trunk of a tree).

Syria dabatur. Syria was one of the Provinces, that were at the disposal of the Emperor.

Ex ingenio principis. In accordance with (cf. ex, G. 7) the (dissimulating) genius or policy of Domitian. The design, if not real, at least imputed to him, was to withdraw Agricola from his province and his troops at all events, by the offer of the best province in the Empire if need be; but that object having been secured by Agricola's voluntary retirement, the offer, and even the ordinary civilities of life, especially official life, were deemed unnecessary. Compare this with the concluding sentence of the preceding chapter.

Celebritate et frequentia. Hendiadys: By the number of distinguished men who might go out to meet him (and escort him into the city).

0fficiosalutatione. Dr.—Brevi osculo, lit. a hasty kisscold and formal salutation. The kiss was a common mode of salutation among the Romans, in the age of the Emperors. See Becker's Gallus, p. 54.

Turbae servientium. The usual and characteristic associates, as well as attendants of Domitian. A severe cut, though quite incidental and very concise.

Otiosos. Antith. to militare. Men in civil life, cf. note on otio, II.

Otium auxit. Augere otium==sequi altissimum otium. Dr.

Penitusinwardly, i.e. sincerely, zealously. So R. But Dr. prorsus, omnino, valde.—Cultu modicus. Simple in dress, cf. note on cultus, G. 6.—Comitatus, passive, so used by Cic. also.—Uno aut altero. One or two.

Per ambitionem==ex vitae splendore et numeroso comitatu. Br. cf. note on ambitio, G. 27.

Quaererent—interpretarentur. Many inquired (with wonder) into the reputation (of a man so unassuming), and few explained or understood (the true reason of his humble manner of life). Interpretarentur, not famam but the facts above mentioned, and the necessity A. was under of living as he did.—Viso aspectoque. On seeing him and directing their attention particularly to him.

XLI. Crimen==public accusation.—Querela==private complaint.— Princeps, gloria, genus. Supply, as a predicate, causa periculi; these were the causes that put A's life in jeopardy.

Militares viri==duces. So Corbulo is called, Ann. 15, 26.

Expugnati et capti. Defeated and taken captive, For. and Fac. Properly expugnare is said of a fortress or city. But ektoliorkein in Greek is used in the same way, of persons. Compare expugnatis praesidiis, 16, note. The wars particularly referred to are those against Decebalus, leader of the Dacians, which lasted four years and in which Moesia also was invaded by the Dacians, and several Roman armies with their commanders were lost (Suet. Dom. 6.); and that of the Pannonian legions against the German tribes of the Marcomanni and the Quadi (Dion, 67, 7).

Hibernis—dubitatum, i.e. the enemy not only met them on the river banks, which formed the borders of the empire, but attacked the winter quarters of their troops, and threatened to take away the territory they had already acquired.

Funeribus, sc. militarium virorum.—Cladibus, sc. cohortium. Dr.

Amore et fide. Out of affection and fidelity (sc. to their imperial master).—Malignitate et livore. Out of envy and hatred (sc. towards A.).

Pronum deterioribus. Inclined to the worse measures, or it may be, to the worse advisers.

In ipsam—agebatur==invito gloria aucta, simulque pernicies accelerata. W.

XLII. Asiae et Africae. He drew lots, which he should have, both being put into the lot.—Proconsulatum. See H. 1, 49. note, on proconsul. A. had already been consul, 9.

Sortiretur. In which he would, or such that he must, obtain by lot, etc. Cf. H. 501, I.; Z. 558.

Occiso Civica. Cf. Suet. Dom. 10: complures senatores, et in his aliquot consulares, interemit, ex quibus Civicam Cerealem in ipso Asiae proconsulate.

Nec Agricolae—exemplum. A warning was not wanting to A. (to avoid the dangerous post); nor a precedent to Dom. (for disposing of A. in the same way if he accepted the office).

Iturusne esset. Subj. cf. H. 525; Z. 552.—Interrogarent. H. 500; Z. 567.

In—excusatione. In urging his request (before Dom.) to be excused.

Paratus simulatione. Al. simulationi. Furnished with deceit, armed, as it were, with hypocrisy.

In arrogantiam compositus. Assuming a proud demeanor.

Beneficii invidia, lit. the odium of such a kindness==so odious a favor. The idea is, he did not blush to let A. return thanks for a signal injury, as if it were a real kindness. "A refinement of cruelty not unfrequently practised by the worst Roman Emperors." Ky. The only peculiarity in the case of Dom. was, the unblushing impudence with which he perpetrated the wrong, cf. 45. See a fine commentary on this passage in Sen. de Benef. 4, 17: Quis est, qui non beneficus videri velit? qui non inter scelera et injurias opinionem bonitatis affectet? velit quoque iis videri beneficium dedisse, quos laesit? gratias itaque agi sibi ab his, quos afflixere, patiuntur.

Salarium. Properly salt-money, i.e. a small allowance to the soldiers for the purchase of salt. Cf. clavarium, H. 3, 50, note. But after Augustus, official pay, salary.

Ne—emisse. That he might not appear to have purchased a compliance with his virtual prohibition (viz. of A.'s accepting the proconsulship).

Proprium humani, etc. Mark the sentiment.

Irrevocabilior. More implacable. Found in this sense only in T. Cf. Boet. Lex. Tac.

Illicita. Unlawful, i.e. forbidden by the powers that be. Explained by contumacia and inani jactatione libertatis above. T. is animadverting upon the conduct of certain stoics and republicans, who obtruded their opinions upon those in power, and coveted the glory of martyrdom.

Eo—excedere. Reach the same height of distinction. Eo Old dat. cf. eo inopiae 28, note. Excedere, lit. come out to, arrive at. Cf. Val. Max. 5, 6, 4: ad summum imperii fastigium excessit.

Per abrupta. "Through abrupt and dangerous paths." Ky.

Ambitiosa morte, i.e. morte ultro adita captandae gloriae causa apud posteros. For. and Fac.

XLIII. Luctuosus, afflictive, is stronger than tristis, sad.

Vulgus. The lower classes, the ignorant and indolent rabble.— Populus. The common people, tradesmen, mechanics, and the like. Hence, aliud agens, which implies that they were too busy with something else of a private nature, to give much attention to public affairs or the concerns of their neighbors.—Populus and vulgus are brought together in a similar way, Dial. de Clar. Orat. 7: Vulgus quoque imperitum et tunicatus hic populus, etc.

Nobis—ausim. I should not dare to affirm that we (the friends of A.) found any conclusive proof, that he was poisoned.—Ceterum. But. This implies that the circumstantial evidence, which he goes on to specify, convinced the writer and his friends, as well as the public, that poison administered by direction of Dom., was really the means of hastening A. out of the world. Dion Cassius expressly affirms, that he was poisoned, 66, 20.

Principatus. The imperial government in general, i.e. former Emperors.

Momenta ipsa deficientis. Each successive stage of his decline. Ipsa is omitted in the common editions. But it rests on good authority and it adds to the significance of the clause: the very moments, as it were, were reported to Dom.

Per dispositos cursores. Dom. appears not to have been at Rome at this time, but in the Alban Villa (cf. 45), or somewhere else.

Constabat. That was an admitted point, about which there was entire agreement (con and sto).

Animo vultuque. Hendiadys: he wore in his countenance an expression of heartfelt grief.

Securus odii. Now, that A. was dead, Dom. had nothing to fear in regard to the object of his hatred, or the gratification of his hate. Odii. Gen. of the respect.—Qui—dissimularet. Qui==talis, ut, hence the subj. H. 501, I.; Z. 558.

Lecto testamento. When A.'s will was read.

Honore judicioque. As if a mark of honor and esteem. E. says==judicio honorifico.—Piissimae, devoted, affectionate.

Malum principem. It was customary for rich men at Rome, who were anxious to secure any of their property to their heirs, to bequeath a part of their estates to bad emperors in order to secure the remainder from their rapacity.

This and several preceding sections present a most graphic outline of the life and times of Dom., the more to be prized, because the full picture, which T. doubtless drew of him in the Histories, is lost. The Histories and the Annals are a vast portrait gallery full of such pictures drawn to the life.

XLIV. Natus—excessit. The dates assigned for A.'s birth and death, do not agree with the age ascribed to him. They may be harmonized in either of two ways, each of which has its advocates: by reading primum instead of tertium, or, which is perhaps a more probable amendment, since it only alters the relative position of the two characters, by reading LIV instead of LVI.

Quod si. And if, now if.—Habitum. Personal appearance, cf. G. 5.

Decentior quam sublimior. Well proportioned, rather than tall. R.

Nihil metus. Nothing to inspire fear in his countenance. Antith. to gratia—supererat: kindness of expression rather prevailed. So Gr. and R. For this sense of metus, see note G. 2: ob metum. Doed. distinguishes between vultus and oris, making the former refer more to the eyes (as if from volvo, the rolling of the eye), to which it belongs to express anger and fierceness; the latter to the mouth, which is more expressive of kindness.

Medio—aetatis. We should hardly say so of a man dying at 56. But in Dial. de Clar. Orat. T. speaks of 120 years, as unius hominis aetas.

Et vera bona. T. has here in mind the distinction made by philosophers, particularly the Stoics, between the virtues, which they called the only real good, and the gifts of fortune, which they declared to be indifferent.—Et—et, both—and, marks the distinction more strongly.

Impleverat. Had enjoyed to the full.

Consulari. Having attained to the rank of consul (the summit of a Roman's ambition) and having been honored with triumphal insignia. Al. consularibus. But consulari has the better authority and makes the better sense.

Opibus—contigerant. Great riches he did not desire; a respectable property it was his good fortune to possess, cf. 5: medio rationis atque abundantiae. Al. non contigerant. But considerable property is implied in the circumstances attending his will, 43, also in his not asking the visual salary, 42. Dion Cass. says, however, (66, 20.), that A. spent his last days in want, as well as in disgrace. For another explanation of gaudebat, cf. n. G. 6.

Quod—ominabatur. Quod is omitted in the common editions. But it is found in the MSS. And it may be explained on the principle of Zeugma, by supplying with durare and videre a verb implied in grande solatium tulit thus: though (sicuti) it would have been a great gratification to A. to behold the dawn of this auspicious age and see Trajan Emperor, of which he expressed in my hearing a sort of prophetic anticipation and desire, yet (ita), etc. Cassius affirms (69, 12), that by auguries the elevation of Trajan to the throne was foretold, as early as A.U.C. 844, i.e. two years before the death of A. The reference to Trajan here, as in 3, marks clearly the date of the composition, cf. note, 3: augeatque Trajanus.

Spiramenta. Breathing-spells, i.e. intervals to recover and take breath in. The word is found only in poetry and post-Augustan prose, and, in the expressive sense in which it is here used, only in Ammian. Marc. 29, 1. See Or. and Freund.

Velut uno ictu. The commentators illustrate the force of this expression by reference to Caligula's wish (Vid. Sen. de Va. 3, 19), that the Roman people had but one neck, ut scelera sua in unum ictum et unum diem cogeret.

XLV. Non vidit. Did not see, as he would have done, had he lived a few years longer. This passage resembles Cic. de Orat. 3, 2, 8, too closely to be mere coincidence. Imitator tamen, id quod uni Tacito contigit, auctore suo praestantior. Rit.

Consularium. Rhen. collects from Suet. the names of several victims of Dom.'s displeasure, who had been consuls.

Feminarum. Pliny has preserved the names of several of this list— Gratilla, wife of Rusticus, Arria, wife of Thrasea, Fannia, daughter of Thrasea and betrothed to Helvidius. Their husbands will be remembered as having been mentioned in 1 and 2.

Carus Metius. An infamous informer, cf. Plin. Epist. 7, 19; Juv. 1, 35; Mart. 12, 25, 5.

Censebatur. Was honored, ironice. Censeri est aestimari, sive existimationem consequi. Dr.

Una—victoria. He had occasioned the death of but one innocent victim.— Adhuc. Up to the death of A., cf. G. 38: adhuc, note.

Albanam arcem. A favorite retreat of Dom. (situated at the foot of the Alban Mount, about seventeen miles from Rome), where he sometimes convened the Senate, and held his court with its troop of informers, cf. note, 43: cursores. Rit. in loc. suggests, that by the use of arcem instead of palatium, T. means to represent Domitian as shutting himself up, like many tyrants, in a fortified castle, and thence sending forth the emissaries of his jealousy and cruelty.

Sententia. His voice, his sentiment expressed in council before Dom.— Intra Albanam arcem, i.e. privately, not publicly, as afterwards at Rome.

Messalini. Fuit inter principea adulatores et delatores. Dr. cf. Plin. Epist. 4, 22; Juv. 4, 113, seq.

Massa Bebius. Primus inter pares of Domitian's tools. He began his career under Vesp. cf. His. 4, 50. He was afterwards impeached and condemned at the instance of the Province of Baetica, Pliny and Senecio advocates for the impeachment, Plin. Epist 7, 33; 3, 4; 6, 29.—Jam tum. At that very time on trial, not merely already at that time. Cf. Hand's Tursel. 3, 113.

Nostra, sc. of the Senate, of which T. was a member, though abroad at the time. Helvidius was arrested in the senate house, cf. Plin. Ep. 9, 13. This was Helvidius the son, who was put to death by Dom. (Suet. 10), as his father was by Vesp. (Suet. 15).

Visus. Al. divisus. Visus==species, adspectus, Wr.—Perfudit. Zeugma. Understand in the first clause horrore perfudit (Dr.) or probro affecit (R.): the spectacle of Mauricus and Rusticus (hurried away, the one to exile, the other to death), filled us with horror; we were stained by the innocent blood of Senecio. Of Rusticus and Senecio, see 2, note. Of Mauricus, see Plin. Ep. 4, 22: quo viro nihil firmius, nihil verius. Also Plin. Ep. 3, 11.

Videre, sc. Domitianum.—Aspici, sc. a Domitiano. For difference in the signification in these words, cf. 40: viso aspectoque, note.

Suspiria—subscriberentur. When our sighs (of sympathy with the condemned) were registered against us (by spies and informers, as a ground of accusation before the Emperor).

Rubor. Redness, referring to the complexion of Dom., which was such as to conceal a blush, cf. Suet. Dom. 18: vultu ruboris pleno.

Opportunitate mortis. An expression of Cic., in the similar passage above cited (de Orat. 3, 2, 8), touching the death of Crassus.

Pro virili portione, lit. for one man's share, referring primarily to pecuniary assessments. Here: for thy part—so far as thou wast concerned. A. died with a calmness which would scarcely admit of the supposition, that he felt himself to be a victim of poison and imperial jealousy.

Filiaque ejus. The apostrophe is here dropped to be resumed at optime parentum. So the MSS. For they read ejus here, and amissus est below. Rhenanus omitted ejus, and wrote es for est; and he has been followed in the common editions since.

Conditione. By the circumstance, or by virtue of our long absence. T. and his wife had parted with A. four years before his death, and had been absent from Rome ever since, where or why does not appear.

Superfuere. Cf. superest, G. 6, note.

XLVI. Sapientibus. Cf. sapientiae professoribus, 2, note.—Te immortalibus laudibus. I feel constrained to recur to the reading of Lipsius and Ritter, it is so much more spirited than quam temporalibus. Potius manifestly should refer back to lugeri and plangi. The comparison contained in the more common reading is uncalled for in the connection, and of little significance in itself. The MSS. read temporalibus laudibus without quam and this may be more easily resolved into te immortalibus, than quam can be supplied.— Similitudine. Al. aemulatione. For such a use of similitudo, cf. Cic. Tusc. Quaest. 1, 46, 110: quorum (sc. Curii, Fabricii, Scipionum, etc.), similitudinem aliquam qui arripuerit, etc.

Decoremus. Ennius (cited by Cic. Tusc. Q. 1, 49, 117, and de Senect. 20, 73), uses the same word in expressing the same sentiment: nemo me lacrumis decoret nec funera fletu faxit. Cf. also G. 28.

Formam. This makes the sense so much better (than famam), that E. Dr. Wr. R. and most others have adopted it against the authority of the MSS. cf. forma mentis, below, and Cic. passim.

Intercedendum. To be prohibited. Properly said of a veto interposed by the Tribunes; then of any prohibition.—Non quia==not that, is characteristic of late writers. It is followed by the subj. Z. 537, and note H. 1, 15.

Manet, mansurumque est. Cf. Vell. Paterc. 2, 66, 5: vivit, vivetque per omnem saeculorum memoriam. The periphrastic form (mansurum est) differs however from the future (manebit), as our is to remain from will remain. See Z. 498.

Oblivio obruet, sc. for want of a historian, carent quia vate sacro, cf. Hor. Od. 4, 9, 25, seq. By multos veterum, T. means many ancients of real worth. So velut implies. A. is to be immortalized through his biographer. This is implied in narratus et traditus. Ancient authors thought it not improper to express a calm consciousness of merit and a proud confidence of immortality. T. is very modest and delicate in the manner of intimating his expectations. But the sentiment of these last words is substantially the same with the line of Horace: Exegi monumentum aere perennius. The whole peroration of this Biography is one of singular beauty and moral elevation. Pathetic, yet calm, rich in noble sentiments and animated by the purest and loftiest spirit, it is a fit topstone to that monument, in respect to which T. felt so well founded an assurance, which still manet mansurumque est in animis hominum, in aeternitate temporum, fama rerum. There is scarcely an educated youth in Christendom who is not as familiar with the name of Agricola, as with that of Aeneas and Ulysses. And the only reason why we know anything of these heroes, is the genius of their respective biographers. There had been other Agricolas before the age of Trajan, as there had been other heroes like Aeneas, and other wandering sages like Ulysses, before the war of Troy. But they found no Tacitus, Virgil, and Homer to record their adventurous and virtuous deeds. It is the prerogative of eminent writers to confer immortality; and though Alexander would prefer to be Achilles rather than Homer, we should have known little of his achievements, had he not encouraged scholars as well as warriors, and rewarded genius no less than valor.


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