Bellum Incivile: Manicula’s Speech to the Nation

Another text tentatively attributed to Caesar was discovered along with the fragments of the De Silvis and an appendix to De Bello Gallico. This is almost surely from the lost Bellum Incivile.

14.3 When Manicula communicated to the people, he usually read from a script because he was so unrefined and boorish in his manner of speaking. He failed to follow the rules of the language on account of his restricted vocabulary and unusual sentence structure to such a degree that his thoughts were often not intelligible and it was not possible to follow him. He would repeat all of the insults he received in all occasions from his enemies with the same exact words and he would brag about himself excessively and express contempt for others with the outcome that he made himself out to be smaller instead of greater.

He proclaimed that he was the only source of knowledge, but no stone was more stupid. Through his false words, he led the citizens to believe that an enemy was invading our territory and openly attacking the whole republic; and that he alone was able to keep the republic safe by building a wall and to liberate it from this scourge. Most people did not believe him, but when they said what they were thinking, the Republicans refused to diminish the power of Manicula, acting as if he were a normal leader.

14.3  Cum Manicula ad cives contionem haberet, scripta verba legere solebat propterea quod in dicendo tam illepidus et infacetus erat. Ob magnam verborum inopiam contextumque sermonis inusitatum dicendi regula ita non custodiebat ut sententiae saepe non intellegeruntur intentionemque prosequi non posset. Omnium temporum iniurias inimicorum eisdem verbis in se iterabat; se supra modum iactabat certerosque dispiciebat ut se minorem quam maiorem faceret.

Se solam scientiae fontem praedicebat, sed vero nullum hoc stolidius erat saxum. Cuius verbis falsis cives ad credendum duxit hostes in fines nostros incursionem facere aperteque rem publicam universam petere; se solum salutem rei publicae muro conficiendo adferre atque rem publicam peste liberare posse. Plerique ei non crediderunt, sed cum quae senserunt dicerunt, Republicani potestatem Maniculae, velut si sanus consul esset, reprimere recusaverunt.

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4 thoughts on “Bellum Incivile: Manicula’s Speech to the Nation

  1. Erik

    Sorry, I didn’t know that you had a fake Latin post going up last night – I would have delayed mine a bit! (Also, I borrowed the name Manicula from your texts since it seemed far preferable to using the monster’s actual name.)

  2. Pingback: The State of Our Union, In Latin – SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

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