Bellum Incivile: Manicula and the Puppet Master

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.

9.32  An investigation was opened into Manicula because they thought he was working against the republic as an agent of an enemy nation. It was known that Manicula was meeting secretly with Puppet Master, the leader of Russia, who was taking advantage of Manicula’s extreme ignorance and immorality for the benefit of his own kingdom and believed everything was for sale in the republic because of Manicula’s greed. For this reason, they did not yet know what plans Manicula had made; how Puppet Master had brought it about that Manicula would act in the interests of the kingdom of Russia rather than in the interests of his homeland; and, whether Puppet Master had actually taken control of our nation.

9.32 De Manuicula quaestionem habent propterea quod hunc ministrum hostium contra rem publicam facere existimabant. Maniculam cum Pupuli Ero, Samartiae imperatore, qui eius summam ignorantiam ac animi foeditatem regno suo haberet omniaque venalia propter eius avaritiam in re publica esse credidit, clam loqui cognitum est. Qua de causa nondum intellexerunt quae consilia Manicula cepisset, quomodo P. Erus effecisset ut Manicula regno Samaritiae quam suae patriae consuleret, num vero P. Erus imperium nostrae civitatis obtinuisset. 

 

Tacitus’ Lost Book: de Manicula

Readers have previously been treated to recently discovered lost texts of Caesar’s Bellum Incivile. We have also recently unearthed a lost appendix to Tacitus’ Annals, translated here for the first time:

“At first, presidents managed the state; gradually, the power of the people was reduced; the domination of Reagan and Bush were not intolerable, and the power of Bush was quickly transferred to Obama. While the state was prosperous, savagery and cowardice invaded minds, and people we contending among each other in their hatred. When Obama had discharged his office, there was no probity, no leader left, but all things were handed into the tiny hands of Manicula who, simulating the president was acting the dictator, was goading everyone on with hatred, and was appropriating for himself the powers of the senate, the magistrates, and the laws with many opposing him in vain. The more prone one was to stupidity, the more he was raised up with honors. Virtue, intelligence, and industry were considered malice. Many, with their hatred turned on other people, were urging Manicula to built a wall, eliminate justice, elevate drunkards to the highest court, and devastate the earth. His first crime was quickly turned into the second, third, fourth… Manicula himself, as his fortune continued to plummet, was conducting himself all the more savagely and promised that he would leave nothing but the ash of a once great nation if all the power of perpetrating evil were not placed in his hands. And so, liberty was lost as many people assisted Manicula.”

Primo civitatem praesidentes habuere; gradatim potestas populi minuta est; non Regani, non Fruticis intolerabilis dominatio, et potentia Fruticis cito in Obamam versa est. florentibus rebus saevitia ignaviaque in animos invasit, et homines inter se odiis decertabant. cum Obama imperio defunctus esset nulla probitas nullusque dux reliquus sed omnia in parvas manus Maniculae tradita sunt qui se praesidentem ferens dictaturam agebat, cunctos odio incitabat, munia senatus magistratuum legum in se trahebat multis frustra adversantibus. quanto quis stultitia promptior honoribus extolleretur. virtus prudentia industria pro malitia habita. multi iam odio in alios verso Maniculam urgebant ut muros aedificaret iustitiam deleret ebrios ad summum tribunal extolleret orbem terrarum vastaret. primum facinus statim in secundum tertium quartum versum. Manicula ipse fortuna in peius cadente eo ferocius se agebat et saepe promisit se nihil praeter cinerem e quondam magna civitate relicturum esse nisi omnis potestas male agendi in se poneretur. ita libertate amissa plerisque Maniculam adiuvantibus.

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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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Bellum Incivile: Manicula’s Obsession with the Wall

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.

13.7 While he was not paying citizens their salaries, Manicula began to demand a wall with loud lamentation: That a great multitude of barbarians, a danger to the country, were crossing over into the territory, as they had before, and that he must do something as quickly as possible to prevent it. Since the Republicans never disapproved of him and always enthusiastically approved of his plans, which were inane and ridiculous, Manicula continued to behave like a tyrant instead of a president. On account of this, Manicula said that previous presidents had wanted to build this wall and that he, the best president of all, would unilaterally order the army to build it. Many people from everywhere declared that Manicula was a reprobate, irrational, and brazen man and that they could not endure his rule much longer.

Meanwhile the Democrats hastened with the greatest possible marches and at last arrived at the Capitol in order to protect the entire country from the outrages of Manicula.

13.7 Dum civibus nullum stipendium numerabat, Manicula murum magno fletu imperare coepit: magnam barbarorum multitudinem periculosam patriae in fines transire, ut ante fecissent, seque his rebus quam maturrime occurrendum. Cum Republicani eum numquam reprehenderent et eius consilia, quae inania ac inridenda sunt, vehementissime comprobarent, Manicula nec consulem sed tyrannum agebat. Itaque Manicula dixit: veteres consules hunc murum conficere voluisse; se optimum consulem omnium exercitum murum ad suum arbitrium conficere iussurum. Multi undique professi sunt hominem improbum, iracundum, temerarium eiusque imperium diutius sustineri non posse.
Interim quam maximis possunt itineribus Democratici contenderunt et ad Capitolium tandem pervenerunt ut omnem patriam ab Maniculae iniuria defenderent.

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Bellum Incivile: Manicula Can’t Stop Tweeting

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 the lost Bellum Incivile.

13.5 The next day Manicula continued to send out messages publicly via Twitter:  that the children, whom he himself had put in cages because of his fear of migrants, had succumbed to their illness because of the Democrats; and that if the wall had been built, migrants would not even try to cross into the territory; why did the Democrats prefer to harass him, the best consul, rather than build a beautiful wall along with him? This was his concern: that Bob Mueller and the Democrats, having accused an innocent man, deleted 19,000 messages because of an illegitimate investigation into election fraud designed prove that he had come to power because of crimes.

Nobody caused Manicula more hardship and pain than Bob Mueller.

13.5  Postero die Manicula multas litteras caerulis avibus ad cives mittebat: infantes, quos ipse timore profugorum adfectus in custodiam dedisset, Democratorum vitio vim morbi sustinere non potuisse; si murum confectum esset, profugos in fines transire non quidem temptaturos fuisse; cur Democratici se optimum consulem vehementer vexare quam pulcherrimum murum secum conficere mallent? haec sibi esse curae: B. Molinarium Democraticosque innocenti accusato XIX millia litterarum ob improbam quaestionem de fraude comitiorum extinxisse ut imperium civitatis nefario facinore obtenuisse probare possent;

nemo tantum difficultatis tantumque doloris, quantum B. Molinarium Maniculae tradiderat.

 

Blue Birds

 

Top Posts of Another Year

Outside of the top few posts, this was a year of guest posts and essays. Erik and I were always willing and interested to share the blog with other people, but we have never really had the time to go out and seek them. So, when people have reached out to us, we have been happy to have them join us.

  1. Diocletian’s Horse Saves the City!

This post wasn’t even from this year! Somehow, it turned into a hot post on Reddit for a while and burned down the house.

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2. Newly Discovered Text: Caesar on Forestry in Finland

Dani Bostick’s ‘discovery’ of a fragmentary text responding to fires in California and some of our current President’s more insane comments was politely declined by a few other sites. It found a home here and Dani has shared many more new Latin discoveries since.

3. Head and Heart: A Quotation Falsely Attributed to Aristotle

This one eventually inspired a collection of false-Aristotle quotes I eventually just put in one post: Meme Police, A Collection of Things Aristotle Did not Say

4. “This is Not My Beautiful House”: Classics, Class and Identity

This post was a response to some discussion online and Erik’s post (at #9) about Class and Classics. It seems to have hit a nerve and prompted more discussion. We got a great followup from Brandon Conley: “How Was [the Expensive Classics Event]?”

5. Classics and Theory: A Monday Rant

This started out as a twitter rant and turned into an essay. There are still many, many people who have a naive attitude about what theory is and how it shapes writing, teaching, and just being in the world. There is still an alarmingly stubborn faction in Classics who falsely oppose “Philology” to theory, imagining that the former is not a species of the latter. I think forms of this one will keep coming back.

6. The Humanities: Aristotle in the Sheets, But Xenophon on the Streets

There was a NY Times Op-Ed on the Humanities that got me up in arms. I posted some tweets, wrote a thing. Erik is working on a much deeper and prolonged project on the Humanities and Classics among the Founding Fathers. Since the culture wars continue and the humanities are always already embattled, this subject will probably come back too.

7. A List of Women Authors from the Ancient World

This is a list that needs more work. I am still looking for people to help me expand these entries!

8. Famae Volent: a Personal History

The infamous and hated although obsessively checked classics job bulletin board closed down this year. I wrote a wistful and self-indulgent piece about it. Then I wrote a second one. The successor site is not nearly as interesting.

9. Classics [Itself] Is Not Classist

When Grace Bertelli (The Classics Major is Classist) first wrote on this topic, we had some discussions online and Erik wrote this overview of why the content of Classics is not essentially class-oriented. As with all of his essays, it is sharp and filled with turns of phrase I wish I could think of.

10. Terrible, Wonderful Odysseus, His Epithets, and How We Read Him

This is a hodgpodge of stuff about Odysseus which started out as a twitter discussion because people don’t like my occasional translation of polytropos as shifty. (Don’t @ me! Read the post!)

Some things I love outside the top 10

  1. The Story of Dido in the Aeneid Through Buffy GIFS
  2. Classics For the Fascists
  3. How Was the [Expensive] Classics Event: Income Inequality and the Classics
  4. Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity
  5. Reclaiming the Story: Ovid’s Mythological Hermaphrodite
  6. Post-Classical Intellectualism in the Latin Classroom

 

Thanks to Elton BarkerDani Bostick, Brandon ConleyHilary Ilkay, Cassie Garrison, Christian LehmannBen Stevens, and Zachary Taylor for making the past year memorable and special

Bellum Incivile: Manicula’s Holiday Tweets

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 the lost Bellum Incivile.
13.4 Since his wife and son had taken a trip, Manicula stayed at home in the White House during the holidays. Having shut down the government and dismissed John Kelly, he sent out many shameful messages and absurdities to the public via his Twitter account: that he was miserable and all alone waiting for the Democrats to come back to him and make a deal; that The Wall and border security are two different things;* that everyone should give thanks to Saudi Arabia because they said they might bring help to an unfortunate nation; that the republic was doing well because of strong Borders, the return of the Army from war, and trade agreements; that he would prohibit all people from crossing into the territory and make new laws about immigrants who seek safety in flight, unless the Democrats gave him a lot of money to build the Wall; that the Fake News had gone crazy because he had signed soldiers’ red MAGA hats, which he denied bringing into theater; and that thanks should be given to Sean Parnell of Fox and Friends** for praising he and Melania after they visited the troops.***
It is said that a wise and noble politician does not dedicate himself to trivial conflicts and self-promotion, but to the administration of the republic. Manicula was neither wise nor noble.

13.4 Cum uxor filiusque iter fecissent, Manicula solus in Regia Candida dies festos manebat. Administratione rei publicae impedita Cellioque dimisso multas litteras indecoras et ineptias avibus caeruleis ad cives misit: se miserum ac persolum dum Democratici negotiandi causa ad se redirent expectare; Murum et praesidia finium inter se differre;* gratias Arabiae, quae se auxilium civitati miserae fortasse ferre posse diceret, omnibus agendas; rem publicam propter Praesidia fortia et Exercitus a bello revocationem et commericia esse salvam; se omnes ab finibus prohibiturum novasque leges de confugis, qui fuga salutem peterent, iussurum nisi Democraticos sibi multam pecuniam ad murum aedificandum darent; Falsam Famam propterea quod sanguinicis militum mitris, quas ab se ad belli sedes portari negaret, nomen notavisset conturbatam esse; gratias S. Parnello, Volpi Amico,** agendas quod is*** et Melaniam militibus salutatis laudaret.

Virum civilem, qui vere sapiens ac nobilis sit, se non otiosis disputationibus et iactationi sed administrationi rei publicae dare dicitur. Manicula erat neque sapiens neque nobilis.

* There could be a problem with the text here since a wall is quite literally a type of border security, and Manicula was promoting it as such during that time.
** Volpis Amicus, sometimes written Volpis ac Comites, is thought to be a guild of pseudo-orators who spread propaganda around the republic on behalf of Manicula.
*** The original message was uncovered along with this section of Bellum Incivile, and it appears Manicula used a nominative form of the personal pronoun instead of an accusative (‘he praised Melania and I.’ This instance of ‘is’ could be an attempt by the author to mimic Manicula’s unusual rhetorical style.

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