Friday, March 4, 2011

Justin, Macedonian Histories


Marcus Junianus Justinus [Justin]
2nd c. AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)

PRAEFATIO [Introduction]

Cum multi ex Romanis etiam consularis dignitatis viri res Romanas Graeco peregrinoque sermone in historiam contulissent, seu aemulatione gloriae sive varietate et novitate operis delectatus vir priscae eloquentiae, Trogus Pompeius, Graecas et totius orbis historias Latino sermone conposuit,

[ Even as many men from the Roman people--even men of consular rank--have performed the affairs of Rome for historical record in Greek and other languages, Trogus Pompeius, a man distinguished for his old-style eloquence, whether in a competition for glory, or for the diversity and novelty of his work, wrote history of Greece and the entire world in the Latin language,]

ut, cum nostra Graece, Graeca quoque nostra lingua legi possent, prorsus rem magni et animi et corporis adgressus.

[And the result? That since our affairs could be read in Greek, so too Greek affairs can be read in our own language, particularly for a man who focuses his attention on the subject of corporeal and mental greatness.]

Nam cum plerisque auctoribus singulorum regum vel populorum res gestas scribentibus opus suum ardui laboris videatur,
[You see, alongside so many authors who write about the achievements of their own monarchs, I think his work is one of passionate labor,]

nonne nobis Pompeius Herculea audacia orbem terrarum adgressus videri debet, cuius libris omnium saeculorum, regum, nationum populorumque res gestae continentur?

[so, doesn't it seem right that Pompeius, whose achievements are contained in all the histories of the time periods, kings, nations, and peoples and who has explored the entire world-- should focus on tasks worthy of Hercules?]