Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pliny the Younger, 1st Collection of Letters


Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus [Pliny the Younger]
61-112 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


Dear Septicius Clarus,]

1 Frequenter hortatus es, ut epistulas, si quas paulo curatius scripsissem, colligerem publicaremque.
[You once used to pester me to organize and publish any letters that I may have written, even if they were matters of the least concern.]

Collegi non servato temporis ordine — neque enim historiam componebam -, sed ut quaeque in manus venerat.
[Well, I have organized them, just not in any chronological order--you see, I'm not writing a history here--but by whichever one I can get my hands on.]

2 Superest ut nec te consilii nec me paeniteat obsequii.
[All that's left to do is to not have you stress over your advice, and me over following it.]

Ita enim fiet, ut eas quae adhuc neglectae iacent requiram et si quas addidero non supprimam.
[So let's agree that I will look for any letters that are still lying around here unattended for, and that I will not set out of order any that I should add.]





C. PLINIUS <MATURO> ARRIANO SUO S. [From Gaius Pliny to his pal Arrianus]

1 Quia tardiorem adventum tuum prospicio, librum quem prioribus epistulis promiseram exhibeo.
[Since I imagine your arrival will later than usual, I will give you a sample of the scroll I had promised you in my previous correspondence.]

 Hunc rogo ex consuetudine tua et legas et emendes,
[I ask that you read and correct this according to your own preferences,]

eo magis quod nihil ante peraeque eodem 'zêlô' scripsisse videor.
[rather than letting me appear to written nothing before hand, but suddenly in that same place, I see a ζηλω]

 2 Temptavi enim imitari Demosthenen semper tuum, Calvum nuper meum, dumtaxat figuris orationis;
[You see, I've always tried to imitate your favorite write, Demosthenes, but lately now my own favorite, Calvus, in terms of their figures of speech;]

nam vim tantorum virorum, 'pauci quos aequus ...' assequi possunt.
[You see, people can follow the persuasion of such historical fellows, and I quote "there are few for whom a level-headed one does"]

 3 Nec materia ipsa huic — vereor ne improbe dicam — aemulationi repugnavit:
[Nor the subject itself repel this kind of emulation--I simply fear I might speak unwisely:]

erat enim prope tota in contentione dicendi, quod me longae desidiae indormientem excitavit, si modo is sum ego qui excitari possim.
[you see, whatever wakes me up from slumber of long inactivity, was my favorite in the long list of works on how to speak, if only that I, for my part, was the one able to be woken up.]

4 Non tamen omnino Marci nostri 'lêkythous' fugimus,
[and yet, I don't completely flee away from the 'ληκυθους' of our friend Marcus,]

 quotiens paulum itinere decedere non intempestivis amoenitatibus admonebamur:
[as few times as I was advised not to go down on a trip with placating pleasantries;]

acres enim esse non tristes volebamus.
[you see, I never wished for sharp pangs of depression]