Obligatory Ides of March Post: Caesar Wanted to Go Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

Suetonius, Divus Julius Caesar 86-7

“Caesar left certain of his friends the impression that he did not want or desire to live longer because  of his worsening health. This is why he ignored what the omens warned and what his friends revealed. Others believe that he dismissed the Spanish guards who accompanied him with swords because he was confident in the Senate’s recent decree and their sworn oath. Others report that he preferred to face the plots that threatened him at once rather than cower before them. There are those who assert that he used to say that his safety should be of more importance to the state than to himself: he had acquired an abundance of power and glory already, but the state, should anything happen to him, would have no rest and would suffer civil war in a worse condition than before.

The following is generally held to be the case, however: his manner of death was scarcely against his desire. For, when he read Xenophon’s account of how in the final days of illness Cyrus gave the plans for his own funeral, Caesar expressed disdain for so slow a death and wished that his own would be sudden and fast. And on the day before he died during dinner conversation at the home of Marcus Lepidus on the topic of the most agreeable end to life, Caesar said he preferred one that was sudden and unexpected.”

 

Suspicionem Caesar quibusdam suorum reliquit neque uoluisse se diutius uiuere neque curasse quod ualitudine minus prospera uteretur, ideoque et quae religiones monerent et quae renuntiarent amici neglexisse. sunt qui putent, confisum eum nouissimo illo senatus consulto ac iure iurando etiam custodias Hispanorum cum gladiis †adinspectantium se remouisse. [2] alii e diuerso opinantur insidias undique imminentis subire semel quam cauere … solitum ferunt: non tam sua quam rei publicae interesse, uti saluus esset: se iam pridem potentiae gloriaeque abunde adeptum; rem publicam, si quid sibi eueniret, neque quietam fore et aliquanto deteriore condicione ciuilia bella subituram.

illud plane inter omnes fere constitit, talem ei mortem paene ex sententia obtigisse. nam et quondam, cum apud Xenophontem legisset Cyrum ultima ualitudine mandasse quaedam de funere suo, aspernatus tam lentum mortis genus subitam sibi celeremque optauerat; et pridie quam occideretur, in sermone nato super cenam apud Marcum Lepidum, quisnam esset finis uitae commodissimus, repentinum inopinatumque praetulerat.

By Vincenzo Camuccini – Own work, user:Rlbberlin, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77355355

Bellum Incivile: The Democrats Debate

torch

 

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.

C. Julius Caesar (?), Bellum Incivile. Edited by Dani Bostick

Almost one hundred Democrats who were seeking the consulship gathered to fight among themselves until only one person was left standing. The young candidates kept begging the old man, who was holding power for too long, to pass the torch of power to them and that his time was up; but the old man said that the torch could not be wrested from his grip because it was stuck to his hands like pearls to a shell.

While some of the young candidates were trying to take the torch from the old man’s clutches, two other men spoke Spanish words badly and a certain woman was purifying the republic with the torch’s smoke while saying over and over again that love, not plans, will save us.

While this was going on, Manicula warned Puppet Master not to interfere with the matters of the republic, but he said these things with a hatred for dignity in such a way as to embolden Puppet Master. For Manicula even said Puppet Master was an ally and very close friend, although everyone else had considered him an enemy of the people for a long time.

Fere centum Democratici consulatum petentes convenerunt ut secum depugnarent dum una reliqua esset.  Iuvenes senem, qui potestatem diutius habebat, orabant ut facem potestatis sibi traderet eique tempus non esset, sed senex locutus facem de manibus extorqui non posse, quoniam in manibus velut margaritae in conchis inhaereret. Dum plures facem a manibus senis eripere conabantur, duo viri verba Hispana male loquebantur quaedamque femina, dictitans non consilia, sed amorem nos servaturum, rem publicam fumo facis purgabat.

Dum haec gerebantur, Manicula Pupuli Erum monuit ne rei publicae intercederet. Quae odio dignitatis ita dixit ut Pupuli Erum confirmaret. Nam ipse dixit etiam se illi esse socium atque amicissimum cum omnes eum pro hoste diu habuissent.

Norbanus, Caesar, Oedipus: Candidates for Impeachment?

Cicero, De Oratore II. 167

This is a kind of argument deduced from connected notions: “If the highest praise must be given to piety, then you should be moved when you see Quintus Metellus grieving so dutifully”. And, as for a deduction from generalities, “if magistrates owe their power to the Roman people, then why impeach Norbanus when he depends on the will of the citizenry?”

Ex coniunctis sic argumenta ducuntur: ‘si pietati summa tribuenda laus est, debetis moveri, cum Q. Metellum tam pie lugere videatis.’ Ex genere autem: ‘si magistratus in populi Romani potestate esse debent, quid Norbanum accusas, cuius tribunatus voluntati paruit civitatis?’

Suetonius, Julius Caesar 1.30

“Others claim that he feared being compelled to provide a defense for the things he had done in his first consulate against auspices, laws, and legislative actions. For Marcus Cato often announced with an oath that he would impeach Caesar by name, as soon as he dismissed his army.”

Alii timuisse dicunt, ne eorum, quae primo consulatu adversus auspicia legesque et intercessiones gessisset, rationem reddere cogeretur; cum M. Cato identidem nec sine iure iurando denuntiaret delaturum se nomen eius, simul ac primum exercitum dimisisset

Accius, Fr. 598 (From Oedipus)

TEIRESIAS

“They impeach him voluntarily and they separate him
From his good fortune and all his wealth,
A man isolated, bereft, depressed and tortured”

Incusant ultro, a fortuna opibusque omnibus
desertum abiectum adflictum exanimum expectorant.

Image result for Roman Oedipus

Newly Discovered Text: De Praefecto Petro (About Mayor Pete)

The following text of unknown authorship was recovered along with new fragments of Caesar’s lost Bellum Incivile and several pamphlets on ancient Roman fashion and etiquette.

De Praefecto Petro. Edited by Dani Bostick

As dawn rose, a young man of remarkable piety came down from heaven onto the gloomy earth for the sake of saving the republic. Since his name could not be pronounced by any mortal, he was called Mayor Pete. It was such a great miracle that some believed that he was not just similar to a god, but that he was an actual god; others believed that the 44th president had adopted him as his white son.

Many wonders and signs declared his divinity. His spouse, whose name was Mayor Pete’s Husband, was a teacher of the highest character whom students loved and respected as an example to emulate;* he was a faithful friend to two dogs, Buddy and Truman; he knew 17 languages which, they said, he was able to speak perfectly inside of a year whenever he wanted to help refugees, read a book in another language, or make a friend from another country; he also knew by heart the names of all the people who lived in the republic; and, he glows with a golden light as he helps the less fortunate. For these reasons everyone began to worship and venerate him as they begged the gods, “Do not prevent this man from rescuing our world in chaos.”

Aurora surgente egregius pietate iuvenis de caelo ad tenebrosam terram rei publicae servandae causa venit. Cum eius nomen a nullis mortalibus enuntiari possit, Praefectus Petrus appellabatur. Tantum miraculum erat ut alii Praefectum Petrum non modo similem deo sed deum ipsum, alii quadragesimum quartum consulem filium candidum adoptavisse crederent.

Multa prodigia et signa divinitatem declaraverunt. Eius coniunx, Maritus Praefecti Petri nomine, erat magister* summae virtutis quem exemplo ad imitandum suppeditato discipuli amabant verebanturque; fidus sodalis duorum canum Amici et Veritatis erat; dicebant septendecim linguas scire quas intra annum optime loqui posset cum aut auxilio profugis esse aut externi scriptoris libellum legere aut ad amicitiam peregrinorum se conferre vellet; nomina etiam omnium rei publicae civium memoria tenebat; miseris subveniens aurea in luce refulsit. Quibus de causis eum colere et venerari coeperunt omnes orantes deos, “hunc saltem everso iuvenem succurrere saeclo ne prohibete.”

*It is thought that Quintilian wrote his treatise on education after reading notes taken during a classroom observation of Mayor Pete’s Husband.

De Oniferibus, On Cargo Shorts

This leaflet was found in the pocket of an article of clothing thought to be worn by Julius Caesar in his leisure time. The garment was discovered centuries ago, but its numerous pockets weren’t completely emptied until recently. It is thought the author could be an associate of the person who wrote De Imaginibus Verendorum. Edited by Dani Bostick.

Once they have children, men consider whether it is proper to set aside the toga and wear a new kind of clothing. This kind of clothing is called “cargo shorts” because they can carry much cargo. I wrote this little pamphlet so that you might understand everything about them.

Although the gods give men two hands, men desire eight hands so that they can carry as many things as possible. Driven by an insatiable desire to carry everything, a clever man once invented cargo shorts, when, having set aside concern for aesthetics, he attached as many pockets as possible to shapeless shorts. In this way, he made an unfashionable type of clothing even more unfashionable. But because of the pockets, cargo shorts are as useful as they are unattractive. For with his hands free, he was able to carry many things more easily.

Now I will answer all of your questions:

What kinds of things can be kept in the pockets? Keys, change, tissues, business cards, medicine, knives, wallets, pens, writing pads, snacks, bottles of beer, puppies– amazing to say!

Can’t maps be kept in cargo shorts? No! You see, a man who wears cargo shorts always knows where he is and how to get to every place.

Can’t feminine property be kept in cargo shorts? When a wife asks her husband to hold on to feminine things, the man responds to her either that he does not have enough pockets or that all of the pockets are already full of other things, even if his pockets are completely empty.

Do they come in Tyrian purple? That is a violation of divine law! They can only be the color of dirt or stone.

Can’t they be made to fit properly? No! As it is said: Function over form! A comfortable body through shapeless clothes! Covering only part of the knee! Always socks with sandals!

Is that a javelin in your pocket? No! I am just happy to see you.*

Filiis natis viri num togam deponere ac novum vestimenti genus induere fas sit considerant. Hoc genus vestimenti “oniferes” appellatur quod multa onera ferre possunt. Hunc libellum scripsi ut vos omnia de oniferibus intelligeretis.

Quamquam di viris duas manus dent, viri octo manus cupiunt ut quam plurimas res secum ferant. Olim insatiabili omnium portandorum cupiditate commotus vir astutus oniferes machinatus est cum curis venustatis depositis bracis informis quam plurimos sacculos applicavit. Ad hunc modum illepidum vestimentum illepidius fecit sed propter sacculos oniferes tam utiles quam illepidi sunt. Nam manibus expeditis multa facilius ferre poterat. Nunc mihi respondendum ad omnia: 

Quales res in sacculis teneri possunt? Claves, sestertios, sudaria, tesseras salutrices, medicamenta, cultros, sacculos minores, stilos, tabulas, cenulas, ampullas cervisiae, catulos– mirum dictu!

Nonne tabulae geographicae in oniferibus teneri possunt? Minime! Nam vir oniferes gerens semper scit ubi sit atque quibus viis ad omnes locos advenire possit.

Nonne res muliebres in oniferibus tenentur? Cum uxor virum rogat ut res muliebres teneat, vir ei respondet aut satis sacculorum sibi deesse aut omnes sacculos iam crebros aliis rebus esse, etsi sacculi pleni araneorum sunt.

Murice tingi possunt? Nefas est! Oniferes colorem aut humi aut lapidis habent.

Nonne apte caedi possunt?  Minime! Ut dicitur: fungi quam ornare! Corpus commodum per vestem informam! partem genus modo tegere! Semper socci soleaeque!

Estne tibi pilum in sacculo? Minime! Ego modo te videre gaudeo.*

*This last question was written in a different style of handwriting.

** This piece is satire.

Medieval pants

 

The Lost De Imaginibus Verendorum

A pamphlet was recently discovered along with the fragments of Bellum Incivile, a text tentatively attributed to Caesar. De Imaginibus Verendorum was almost certainly not written by Caesar, but was very possibly distributed to his troops.* Edited by Dani Bostick

“All people arrive into the world nude on the day of their birth, but many men as adults want to show off their unclothed private parts very often. They have a frightful custom of making images of their private parts, which can also be called dick pics, penis pictures, and members at mast, and sending them to women. These men are very different with respect to dignity and virtue from men who are in the habit of keeping their private parts covered unless someone says she wants to see them.

When the eyes of women are too far away or when there is a concern about breaking the law– for it is not OK to expose bystanders to penises when you are outside– inflamed by a desire to show his private parts, a man of this kind creates an image of them, which you would believe to be real, but would not in any way want to look at. He marvels at this, but it is not enough for him to see it. Even if women have already said they do not want to see any private parts, he thinks the image must be seen by as many women as possible.

For this reason the man sends this image to one woman, then to two women, then to five; then to another ten. “Careful,” he says to himself as he sends the picture through the ether. “Don’t send it to your mom or sisters by accident.” In this way, he believes he is operating with restraint and modesty.

At last, many women see the image of the private parts and seeing it, they are horrified, but the man, proud of his private parts and the picture of them, happily awaits the replies of the women. “How lucky these women are! How beautiful are my private parts!” But the women do not respond.

Although he is happy with himself, he lacks friends and dignity, but he does not want to change because he thinks he is the best.  Catullus once said, “Each of us has a flaw, but we cannot see what is in our own backpacks.”  

I will make this very clear to you. It is the greatest flaw to send pictures of your private parts to women who absolutely do not want to see them.

Men, having read these words, may you recognize this flaw and stop it!

Homines die natali nudi nati sunt, sed multi viri adulti verenda exerta saepissime ostendere volunt. His mos terribilis est imagines verendorum, quae appellari etiam pictura passeris, simulacrum siculae, vincens verpa possunt, facere ac ad feminas mittere.  Hi sunt dignitate et virtute disimiles viris qui verenda operire solent, nisi quis ea videre velle dicat.

Vir huius generis cum aut oculi feminarum longius absit aut leges violare timeat– nam verendis foris circumstantes obiecere est nefas– inflammato verendorum ostendendorum cupidine imaginem, quam vivere credas, sed haud spectare velis, facit. miratur, sed non est satis eam videre. etiamsi feminae se verenda videre nolle iam dixerunt, imaginem quam plurimis feminis videndam existimat.

Qua de causa vir hanc imaginem ad unam feminam mittit; deinde ad duas feminas; deinde ad quinque; dein ad decem alteras. “Cave,” mittenti per caelum imaginem sibi ait. “Noli ad matrem aut ad sorores peperam mittere.” ad hunc modum se caute et pudenter agere credit.

Tandem multae feminae imaginem verendam vident et videntes horrescunt; verum vir suis verendis ac imagine eorum superbiens responsa feminarum laete expectat. “Quam beatae hae feminae! Quam pulchra mea verenda!”  sed feminae nihil respondent.

quamvis se ipso contentus sit, amicae dignitasque ei desunt, sed mutari non vult, quia se optimum esse credit.  “Suus cuique attributus est error,” scripsit Catullus. “sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est.”

Hoc vobis manifestissimum faciam. Est maximus error imagines verendorum ad feminas, quae ea videre minime velint, mittere.  

Viri, his verbis acceptis, videatis errorem et desinatis!

 

Caesar

[*N.B. This is satire. This Latin is not from antiquity]

Bellum Incivile: Manicula’s Associate Procures Pictures of Private Parts

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.

C. Julius Caesar (?), Bellum Incivile. Edited by Dani Bostick

6.3 Whenever Manicula found himself in the midst of scandal, money was often paid by his associate D. Pecker to buy off accusations. For even prior to his nefarious consulship, Manicula had associated with people of such a kind and conducted his business in such a way that many reports of his offences and delinquency became widespread. For this reason, D. Pecker made many payments to conceal Manicula’s misdeeds. It is said that evidence of them is kept under lock and key.

6.3 Cum contumelia in Maniculam iaceretur, pecunia ne accusaretur saepe a comite D. Vellicatore data est. Nam etiam ante nefarium consulatum cum talibus hominibus vixerat negotiaque ita transegerat Manicula ut multae famae de eius delictis ac peccatis dispergerentur. Qua de causa D. Vellicator multam pecuniam qua scelera eius celarentur pendebat. Quorum testimonia scripta ac alia indicia sub clavi servari dicitur.

6.8 After D. Pecker obtained images of the intimate regions of a wealthy man named J. Bezos, who made his fortune doing business in the cloud, he threatened to publish them in order to silence Bezos who had discovered information unfavorable to Pecker’s company.  It ended up, however, that D. Pecker’s plan seemed more shameful than the images themselves.

6.8 Imagines verendorum locupletis J. Bezi, qui negotiando in caelo maximam pecuniam lucrifecit, adeptus, D. Vellicator minabatur se imagines verandorum volgo elaturum apertissimeque ostenturum ut J. Bezum certiorem de suae societatis probris factum comprimeret. Effecit tamen ut consilium D. Vellicatoris foedius imaginibus ipsis videretur.

slave