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.

Image result for tacitus annales

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.

reddit

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