Thursday, March 3, 2011

Marcellinus, Treatise of Accomplishments (beginning from end of Tacitus Book 14)

Ammianus Marcellinus

325-390 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Late Imperial/Christian Era)


Post emensos insuperabilis expeditionis eventus languentibus partium animis, quas periculorum varietas fregerat et laborum, nondum tubarum cessante clangore vel milite locato per stationes hibernas, fortunae saevientis procellae tempestates alias rebus infudere communibus per multa illa et dira facinora Caesaris Galli, qui ex squalore imo miseriarum in aetatis adultae primitiis ad principale culmen insperato saltu provectus ultra terminos potestatis delatae procurrens asperitate nimia cuncta foedabat.

[ So after the long-lasting happenings of the overwhelming expedition, the spirits of these parts, which the diversity of dangers and toils had already shattered, and not yet by the blare of any war trumpets or any soldiers being stationed in their winter quarters, the winds of fortune dumped other sorts of tumults upon the affairs of the cities, through the numerous and heinous misdeeds of the Gallus Caesar, who started his life from a state of squalor full of miseries, during the very first period of his adult life, but skyrocketed to the very top in an unexpected leap, and far exceeding the limits of his power he gained, he ruined much too many things with his severity.]

propinquitate enim regiae stirpis gentilitateque etiam tum Constantini nominis efferebatur in fastus, si plus ualuisset, ausurus hostilia in auctorem suae felicitatis, ut uidebatur.  

[You see , even at back then, by the close relation and nobility of his bloodline, he was brought into the privilege that came with Constance's name, and yet it was clear that he, as much as he possibly could, would he become hostile to the very creator of his good fortune.]

2. Cuius acerbitati uxor graue accesserat incentiuum, germanitate Augusti turgida supra modum, quam Hannibaliano regi fratris filio antehac Constantinus iunxerat pater, Megaera quaedam mortalis, inflammatrix saeuientis adsidua, humani cruoris auida nihil mitius quam maritus;

[When with his severity, his wife made him even more inclined to harshness--she was the sister of the previous Augustus, haughty beyond good measure, and, long ago, her father Constantius married her off to the son of his brother, King Hannibalian, and she was a 'Megara' incarnate, a passionate instigator of savage acts, more eager for bloodshed than even her husband;]

qui paulatim eruditiores facti processu temporis ad nocendum per clandestinos uersutosque rumigerulos conpertis leuiter addere quaedam male suetos falsa et placentia sibi discentes, adfectati regni uel artium nefandarum calumnias insontibus adfligebant

[Little by little, as time passed, they grew increasingly able to sharpen their skills of lying in order to do as much harm as possible through clandestine and clever schemes against their rivals, in order to retain the pleasantries of life for themselves, and they wrought havoc against innocent people by bringing slanderous charges of treason against the state or other condemnable plots.]

eminuit autem inter humilia supergressa iam impotentia fines mediocrium delictorum nefanda Clematii cuiusdam Alexandrini nobilis mors repentina;
[And yet, they went past the humble inabilities their powers denied them, past the boundaries of regular crimes, with the sudden death of a man from Alexandria named Clematius.]

cuius socrus cum misceri sibi generum, flagrans eius amore, non impetraret, ut ferebatur, per palatii pseudothyrum introducta, oblato pretioso reginae monili id adsecuta est,
[As it was reported, his mother in law, could not manage to have an affair with her own son-in-law, though she burned for his love, without being led into through a secret passageway of the palace, she accomplished it by offering a precious necklace of the queen,]

ut ad Honoratum tum comitem orientis formula missa letali omnino scelere nullo contactus idem Clematius nec hiscere nec loqui permissus occideretur.
[and it resulted that, after a condemnatory letter was sent to his associate Honoratus, Clematius, involved in no way whatsoever in the scandal, was not neither allowed to time to react or speak before he was killed.]