Monday, March 28, 2011
Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Life of Severus
Alabaster bust of Septimius Severus,
at Musei Capitolini, Rome [Wikipedia, "Severus"]
Augustan Histories [Historia Augusta]
Scriptores Historiae Augustae
Latin (Imperial Era)
AELI SPARTIANI SEVERUS
I. 1 Interfecto Didio Iuliano Severus Africa oriundus imperium optinuit.
[When Didius Julianus, Severus, who was raised in Africa--the colony--obtained the power.]
2 Cui civitas Lepti, pater Geta, maiores equites Romani ante civitatem omnibus datam;
[His home town was Lepcis, his father was Geta, and his ancestors were Roman knights, before citizenship was granted to everyone;]
mater Fulvia Pia, patrui magni Aper et Severus, consulares, avus maternus Macer, paternus Fulvius Pius fuere.
[His mother was Fulvia Pia, his grand uncles, Aper and Severus, both consuls, Macer was his maternal grandfather, his paternal one was Fulvius Pius.]
3 Ipse natus est Erucio Claro bis et Severo conss. VI. idus apriles.
[He was born in the 6th Ides of April, in the 2nd consulship of Etrucius Clarus and Severus.]
4 In prima pueritia, priusquam Latinis Graecisque litteris imbueretur quibus eruditissimus fuit, nullum alium inter pueros ludum nisi adiudices execuit,
[In the first blossom of his youth, before he mastered Latin and Greek, over which he became the most learned possible, he never played any games between children except "Judges",]
cum ipse praelatis fascibus ac securibus ordine puerorum circumstante sederet ac iudicaret.
[in which he, after setting up fasces and official axes, would sit with a circle of boys forming a circle, and pass judgment.]
5 Octavo decimo anno publice declamavit.
[At age 18, he tried cases in public.]
Postea studiorum causa Romam venit, latum clavum a divo Marco petit et accepit favente sibi Septimo Severo adfini suo, bis iam consulari.
[Afterward, he went to Rome to study, seeking the priesthood from divine Marcus Aurelius, and he received it--since he favored his relative by blood, Septimius Severus, and Marcus had already now consul twice.]
6 Cum Romam venisset, hospitem nanctus, qui Hadriani vitam imperator iam eadem hora legeret, quod sibi omen futurae felicitatis arripuit.
[When he arrived in Rome, he acquired a guest, who predicted the time of Hadrian's death to the very hour, which he took for himself as an omen of good luck to come.]
7 Habuit et aliud omen imperii.
[He also beheld another omen of his future rule.]
Cum rogatus ad cenam imperatoriam palliatus venisset, qui togatus venire debuerat, togam praesidiariam ipsius imperatoris accepit.
[Once when he was requested to an imperial banquet, he came in Greek clothes, when he ought to have come in Roman ones, and he was give the cloak of the emperor himself.]
8 Eadem nocte somniavit lupae se uberibus ut Remum inhaerere vel Romulum.
[That very night, he dreamed that he was suckling upon the teats of a she-wolf, like Romulus and Remus.]
9 Sedit et in sella imperatoria temere a ministro posita, ignarus quod non liceret.
[And he sat in the imperial throne that was placed there by an advisor, not knowing he was forbidden to do so.]
10 Dormienti etiam in stabulo serpens caput cinxit et sine noxa experge factis et adclamantibus familiaribus abiit.
[And even a serpent wrapped around his head, when he slept in his stable one night, although he left unharmed to the utter shock of his relatives.]
II. 1 Iuventam plenam furorum, nonnumquam et criminum habuit.
[He lived out a youth full of crazy affairs and even some illegal ones.]
2 Adulterii causam dixit absolutusque est a Iuliano proconsule,
[He was accused of adultery, and was absolved by Julianus, the proconsul,]
cui et in proconsulatu successit et in consulatu collega fuit et in imperio item successit.
[in whose place he succeeded into the position of proconsul, and was also his colleague in his tenure as consul, and likewise succeeded in the order of reign.]
Quaesturam diligenter egit omisso tribunatu militari.
[He diligently performed his tenure as quaestor, without the supervision of a military tribune.]
3 Post quaesturam sorte Baeticam accepit
[After his quaestorship, he received governance over Baetica]
atque inde Africam petit,
[and from there, he then sought governance of Africa]
ut mortuo patre rem domesticam conponeret.
[with the purpose of settling his family's affairs after the death of father.]
4 Sed dum in Africa est,
[But while he was in Africa]
pro Baetica Sardinia ei attributa est,
[he was assigned Sardinia instead of Baetica]
quod Baeticam Mauri populabantur.
[because the Moors <dark peoples> were invading Baetica]
5 Acta igitur quaestura Sardiniensi legationem proconsulis Africae accepit.
[And so, as soon as he had completely finished his duty as quaestor, he received the military command of Sardinia from the proconsul of Africa.]