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Ethics, Identity, and Community in Later Roman Declamation$

Neil W. Bernstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964116

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964116.001.0001

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(p.195) Appendix 2 Text and Translation of the Themes of the Major Declamations

(p.195) Appendix 2 Text and Translation of the Themes of the Major Declamations

Source:
Ethics, Identity, and Community in Later Roman Declamation
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Major Declamation 1: Paries Palmatus. The Bloodstained Wall.

[Quidam, cui erat filius caecus, quem heredem instituerat, induxit illi nouercam iuuenemque in secreta domus parte seposuit. is noctu, dum in cubiculo cum uxore iaceret, occisus est inuentusque postero die habens gladium filii defixum in uulnere, pariete ab ipsius ad filii cubiculum uestigiis palmae cruentato. accusant se inuicem caecus et nouerca.]

A certain person had a blind son whom he made his heir. He brought in a stepmother and sequestered the young man in a hidden part of the house. The father was killed at night while lying in his bedroom with his wife. He was found the next day with his son’s sword stuck in his wound. The wall from his bedroom to his son’s was stained with the marks of a bloody palm. The blind son and the stepmother in turn accuse one another of the murder.

Major Declamation 2: Caecus in Limine. The Blind Man in the Doorway.

Ex incendio domus adulescens patrem extulit. dum matrem repetiit, et ipsam et oculos amisit. induxit illi pater nouercam. quae accessit quodam tempore ad maritum, dixit parari illi uenenum, quod iuuenis in sinu haberet, et sibi promissam dimidiam partem bonorum, si illud marito porrexisset. intrauit ad caecum pater interrogauitque, an haec uera essent; ille negauit. exquisiuit et inuenit in sinu uenenum, interrogauit, cui parasset; ille tacuit. recessit pater et mutato testamento nouercam fecit heredem. eadem nocte strepitus in domo fuit: intrauit familia in cubiculum domini, inuenit ipsum occisum et nouercam iuxta cadauer dormienti similem, caecum in limine cubiculi sui stantem, gladium eius sub puluino cruentatum. accusant se inuicem caecus et nouerca.

(p.196) A young man carried his father out of a fire in the house. While he went back to get his mother, he lost both her and his eyesight. The father brought in a stepmother. She went to her husband some time after and said that poison was being prepared against him, which the young man had in his pocket, and that he had promised her half his estate if she administered it to her husband. The father went to the blind son’s room and demanded to know whether these accusations were true. The son denied them. He searched and found the poison in his son’s pocket, and asked him for whom he had prepared it. The son was silent. The father left and changed his will to make the stepmother his heir. That same night there was an uproar in the house. The household slaves rushed into their master’s bedchamber and found him murdered. The stepmother was next to the corpse, as if asleep; the blind man was standing in the doorway of his bedroom, and his bloody sword was under his pillow. The blind man and the stepmother accuse one another in turn.

Major Declamation 3: Miles Marianus. The Soldier of Marius.

Bello Cimbrico miles Mari tribunum stuprum sibi inferre conantem, propinquum Mari, occidit. reus est caedis apud imperatorem.

During the Cimbrian war, a solder of Marius killed his tribune, a relative of Marius, who was attempting to rape him. He is charged with murder before the general.

Major Declamation 4: Mathematicus. The Astrologer.

Vir fortis optet praemium quod uolet. Qui causas 〈uoluntariae〉 mortis in senatu non reddiderit, insepultus abiciatur.

Quidam de partu uxoris mathematicum consuluit. is respondit uirum fortem futurum, qui nasceretur, deinde parricidam. cum adoleuisset qui erat natus, bello patriae fortiter fecit. reddit causas uoluntariae mortis. pater contradicit.

Let a war hero choose the reward that he wants. Whoever has not given his reasons for committing suicide in the senate, let him be thrown out unburied.

A certain person consulted an astrologer about his wife’s pregnancy. The astrologer replied that the child would be a war hero and later a parricide. When the child who had been born grew up, he performed heroically in a war in his country. He gives his reasons for committing suicide. His father speaks against him.

(p.197) Major Declamation 5: Aeger Redemptus. The Ransomed Invalid.

Liberi parentes in egestate aut alant aut uinciantur.

Quidam duos filios habebat, frugi et luxuriosum. peregre profecti sunt capti a piratis. luxuriosus languere coepit. ambo de redemptione scripserunt. pater uniuersis bonis in 〈n〉ummum redactis profectus est. dixerunt illi praedones non attulisse illum nisi unius pretium, et eligeret utrum uellet. aegrum redemit. qui, dum reuertitur, mortuus est. alter ruptis uinculis fugit. alimenta poscitur. contradicit.

Children must either support their parents in need or be imprisoned.

A certain person had two children, a frugal one and a spendthrift. They went abroad and were captured by pirates. The spendthrift began to fall ill. Both wrote to their father about ransom. Their father sold all his property for cash and set out. The pirates told him that he had only brought the price for one, and he should choose which one he wanted. He ransomed the sick son, who died upon returning. The other son escaped his imprisonment and fled. His father asks for support. The son refuses.

Major Declamation 6: Manus Caecae. The Blind Woman’s Hands.

Qui in calamitate parentes deseruerit, insepultus abiciatur.

Qui habebat uxorem et filium, captus a piratis scripsit domum de redemptione. uxor flendo oculos amisit. filius retinente matre profectus uicariis manibus redemit patrem. idem in uinculis decessit. abiectus in mare et appulsus ad litus patrium est eiectus. uult illum sepelire pater, mater prohibet.

Whoever has deserted his parents in need, let him be thrown out unburied.

A certain person had a wife and a son. When he was captured by pirates, he wrote home about ransom. The wife lost her eyesight from weeping. Though she attempted to keep him at home, the son set out and ransomed his father by offering himself in his place. He died in his imprisonment. He was thrown into the sea and washed up on his native shore. His father wants to bury him; his mother prevents him.

Major Declamation 7: Tormenta Pauperis. The Poor Man’s Torture.

Liberum hominem torqueri ne liceat.

Pauper et diues inimici. pauperi erat filius. nocte quadam pauper cum filio reuertebatur. interfectus est adulescens. offert se pauper in tormenta dicens a diuite eum interemptum. diues contradicit ex lege.

Let it not be permitted to torture a poor man.

(p.198) A poor man and a rich man were enemies. The poor man had a son. One night the poor man was walking home with his son. The young man was murdered. The poor man offers himself up for torture, saying that his son was killed by the rich man. The rich man appeals to the law in speaking against him.

Major Declamation 8: Gemini Languentes. The Sick Twins.

Gemini, quibus erat mater et pater, aegrotare coeperunt. consulti medici dixerunt eundem esse languorem. desperantibus reliquis promisit unus se alterum sanaturum, si alterius uitalia inspexisset. permittente patre execuit infantem et uitalia inspexit. sanato uno accusatur pater ab uxore malae tractationis.

Twins with living parents began to fall ill. The doctors were called in and said that their illness was the same. Though the other doctors despaired, one of them promised that he would cure one of the twins, if he could inspect the other’s organs. With the father’s permission, he cut open the baby and examined his organs. He cured the other twin. The father is accused by his wife of ill treatment.

Major Declamation 9: Gladiator. The Gladiator.

Abdicare et recusare liceat.

Pauperis et diuitis inimicorum filii iuuenes amici erant. filius diuitis, cum in piratas incidisset, scripsit patri de redemptione. illo morante profectus pauperis filius, cum amicum apud piratas non inuenisset, quia lanistae uenierat, peruenit in ciuitatem, in qua munus parabatur, sub tempus ipsum, quo pugnaturus erat diuitis filius. pactus est cum munerario pauper adulescens, ut uicariis operis redimeret amicum, petitque, ut, si egeret pauper pater, alimenta ei praestaret. ipse in pugna occisus est. diuitis filius reuersus egentem inuenit pauperem. palam coepit alere; abdicatur.

Let it be permitted to disown and to renounce a son.

Two young men, sons of poor and rich enemies, were friends. The rich man’s son met with pirates and wrote to his father about ransom. When his father delayed, the poor man’s son set out. He did not find his friend with the pirates, because he had gone to a gladiator trainer. The poor man’s son came to a city in which a public show was being readied, at the very time when the rich man’s son was about to fight. The poor young man made a bargain with the show’s presenter to ransom his friend by fighting in his place. He asked his friend that if his poor father were in need, he would offer him support. He was killed in the fight. The rich man’s son returned home and found the poor man in need. He began to support him openly; he is disowned.

(p.199) Major Declamation 10: Sepulcrum Incantatum. The Enchanted Tomb.

Malae tractationis sit actio.

Quae amissum filium uidebat in somnis, indicauit marito. ille adhibito mago incantauit sepulcrum. mater desiit uidere filium. accusat maritum malae tractationis.

Let there be an action for ill treatment.

A woman saw her dead son in her dreams and told her husband. He hired a magician to enchant the tomb. The mother stopped seeing her son. She accuses her husband of ill treatment.

Major Declamation 11: Diues Accusatus Proditionis. The Rich Man Accused of Treason.

Pauper et diues inimici. utrique terni liberi. Bellum incidit ciuitati. diues dux creatus profectus est in castra. rumor ortus est ab eo prodi rem publicam. processit pauper in contionem et accusauit diuitem proditionis. absente eo populus lapidibus liberos eius occidit. reuersus diues est uictor a bello, petit ad supplicium filios pauperis. pater se offert. contradicit diues. erant enim leges, ut proditor morte puniretur, et calumniator idem pateretur quod reus, si conuictus esset.

A poor man and a rich man were enemies. Each one had three children. A war came to the city. The rich man was created general and proceeded to the camp. A rumor arose that the state was being betrayed by him. The poor man went to a public meeting and accused the rich man of treason. During his absence, the people stoned his children to death. The rich man returned victorious from the war and asks to punish the poor man’s sons. The father offers himself in their place. The rich man speaks against him. For there were laws that the traitor should be punished by death, and the false accuser should suffer the same that the defendant would suffer, had he been convicted.

Major Declamation 12: Cadaueribus Pasti. The Corpse Eaters.

Cum ciuitas fame laboraret, misit ad frumenta legatum praestituta die, intra quam rediret. profectus ille emit et ad aliam ciuitatem tempestate delatus duplo uendidit et duplum frumenti modum comparauit. illo cessante corporibus suorum pasti sunt. reuersus ad praestitutam diem rei publicae laesae accusatur.

When a city was struck by famine, it sent an agent for food and appointed a day before which he should return. He set out and bought food. He was carried to another city in a storm, sold his food for double the price, and gathered a double supply of food. While he was delaying, his fellow citizens ate the bodies of their relatives. He came back on the appointed day and is accused of harming the state.

(p.200) Major Declamation 13: Apes Pauperis. The Poor Man’s Bees.

Damni per iniuriam dati sit actio.

Pauper et diues in agro uicini erant iunctis hortulis. habebat diues in horto flores, pauper apes. questus est diues flores suos decerpi ab apibus pauperis. denuntiauit, ut transferret. illo non transferente flores suos ueneno sparsit. apes pauperis omnes perierunt. reus est diues damni iniuria dati.

Let there be an action for loss as the result of injury.

A poor man and a rich man were neighbors in the country. Their gardens lay adjacent to one another. The rich man had flowers in his garden, the poor man had bees. The rich man complained that his flowers were being plucked by the poor man’s bees and gave notice that they must be moved. The poor man did not move his bees. The rich man spread his flowers with poison. The poor man’s bees all died. The rich man is charged for loss as the result of injury.

Major Declamation 14–15: Odii Potio I–II. The Hatred Potion (I–II).

Meretrix amatori suo pauperi dedit odii potionem. adolescens desiit amare. accusat illam ueneficii.

A prostitute gave her poor lover a hatred potion. The young man stopped loving. He accuses her of poisoning.

Major Declamation 16: Amici Vades. The Pledged Friends.

Duo amici, ex quibus uni mater erat, peregre profecti ad tyrannum appliciti sunt. mater cognito, quod filius haberetur a tyranno, flendo oculos amisit. oblata est a iuuenibus tyranno condicio, ut dimitteret alterum ad uisendam matrem ad diem praestitutam reuersurum, ita ut, nisi occurrisset ad diem, de eo, qui restiterat, poena sumeretur. et iureiurando adstrictus est. uenit iuuenis in ciuitatem; mater detinet ex lege, qua parentes in calamitate deserere non licebat.

Two friends, one who had a mother still living, set out abroad and were brought before a tyrant. When the mother found out that her son was being held by the tyrant, she lost her eyesight through weeping. The tyrant offered a bargain to the young men. He would send one of them to see his mother if he came back by an appointed day; if he had not returned by that day, punishment would be exacted on the one who had remained. And he was bound by an oath. The young man came to his city; his mother detains him through the law by which it is forbidden to desert parents in trouble.

(p.201) Major Declamation 17: Venenum Effusum. The Spilled Poison.

Filium ter abdicare uoluit pater, uictus. inuenit quodam tempore in secreta domus parte medicamentum terentem. interrogauit, quid esset, cui parasset. ille dixit uenenum et se mori 〈uelle〉. iussit pater bibere. ille effudit medicamentum. accusatur a patre parricidii.

A father wished three times to disown his son, but was defeated in court. Some time after he found his son in a hidden part of the house preparing a medicine. He demanded to know what it was and for whom it had been prepared. The son said it was poison and that he wanted to die. The father ordered him to drink. He poured out the medicine. He is accused by his father of parricide.

Major Declamation 18–19: Infamis in Matrem I–II. Suspected of Incest with His Mother (I–II).

Malae tractationis sit actio.

Speciosum filium, infamem, tamquam incestum cum matre committeret, pater in secreta parte domus torsit et occidit in tormentis. interrogat illum mater, quid ex filio compererit; nolentem dicere malae tractationis accusat.

Let there be an action for ill treatment.

A father tortured his beautiful son, suspecting him of committing incest with his mother, in a secret part of the house. He killed him in the torture. The mother demands to know what he learned from the son. He refuses to speak. She accuses him of ill treatment. (p.202)