Sunday, March 6, 2011

Plautus, Amphitruo


Titus Maccius Plautus {Plautus}
254-185 BC
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era)

PERSONAE [Characters]
MERCVRIVS DEVS [the god Mercury]
SOSIA SERVVS [Sosia the slave]
IVPPITER DEVS [the god Jupiter ]
ALCVMENA MATRONA [Alcumena the matron]
AMPHITRVO DVX [General Amphitruo]
BLEPHARO GVBERNATOR [Blepharo the ship captain]
BROMIA ANCILLA [Bromia the slave girl]

ARGVMENTVM [Introduction]
In faciem versus Amphitruonis Iuppiter,
dum bellum gereret cum Telobois hostibus,
Alcmenam uxorem cepit usurariam.
[Jupiter, disguising himself as Amphitruo, while this fellow was gone waging war with his enemies, the Teloboeans, secretly ravished his wife Alcmene.]

Mercurius formam Sosiae servi gerit
[Mercury takes the form of Sosia, the slave gone away too;]

his Alcmena decipitur dolis.
[Alcmena is deceived by these tricks.]

postquam rediere veri Amphitruo et Sosia,
uterque deluduntur in mirum modum.
[Later on, the real Amphitruo and Sosia returned, and both are played for fools in a wonderful turn of events.]

hinc iurgium, tumultus uxori et viro,
donec cum tonitru voce missa ex aethere
adulterum se Iuppiter confessus est.
[After that, a quarrel happens, an uproar between the husband and wife, until Jupiter, sending down a thunderous announcement from the heavens, confesses that he indeed was the adulterer.]



Vt vos in vostris voltis mercimoniis
emundis vendundisque me laetum lucris
adficere atque adiuvare in rebus omnibus
[So that I, pleased, can look over your exchanges of wares, and your hagglings and profit-making, and help you in all your concerns]

et ut res rationesque vostrorum omnium
bene <me> expedire voltis peregrique et domi         5
[and so that you will send me the reasons and matters of all your things, here and abroad,]

bonoque atque amplo auctare perpetuo lucro
quasque incepistis res quasque inceptabitis,
[and you encourage all of your business to grow larger from a nice, healthy profit, now and in the future,]

et uti bonis vos vostrosque omnis nuntiis
me adficere voltis,
[and as you also wish for me to look over you all and all of your messages,]

ea adferam, ea uti nuntiem, quae maxime in rem vostram communem sient—       10
[let me report these things, like a messenger of sorts, things which greatly relate to your own interests]

nam vos quidem id iam scitis concessum et datum
mi esse ab dis aliis,
[you see, for your parts, do you already know that this is granted and begifted to me from the other gods,]

nuntiis praesim et lucro—:
[I am the master of messages and profitmaking]

haec ut me voltis adprobare adnitier,
[such that you now wish for me to agree to support you in these affairs]

lucrum ut perenne vobis semper suppetat
[and so that every will a perennial profit land in your laps]

ita huic facietis fabulae silentium               15
[so, in exchange for this, please be silent for this story]

itaque aequi et iusti hic eritis omnes arbitri.
[and thusly you will all be fair and just judges here.]

 Nunc cuius iussu venio
[Now, by whose order I come]

et quam ob rem venerim
[and for what reason I've come]

[I shall say]

simulque ipse eloquar nomen meum.
[and at the same time, I myself shall tell you my name.]

Iovis iussu venio,
[I come by the order of Jove,]

nomen Mercurio est mihi.
[my name is Mercury.]

pater huc me misit ad vos oratum meus,          20
[it was my father who sent me here to make a speech to you all,]

tam etsi, pro imperio vobis quod dictum foret,
[Even so, whatever could be said to you all as prescribed by mandate]

scibat facturos, quippe qui intellexerat
vereri vos se et metuere,
[let him write down what we are about to do, I mean, whichever men had previously understood that you must respect and fear them,]

ita ut aequom est Iovem;
[such that you think that I'm Jove's equal;]

verum profecto hoc petere me precario
a vobis iussit, leniter, dictis bonis.         
[In truth, he ordered me to seek this out from you riskily and right away using kind words, in pleasant fashion.]

etenim ille, cuius huc iussu venio, Iuppiter
non minus quam vostrum quivis formidat malum:
[And I'll tell ya, that fella Jupiter, by whose command I come here, fears evil you can think of less than you all.]

humana matre natus, humano patre, 
[Born to human mother, and a human father,]

mirari non est aequom, sibi si praetimet;
[it's not a sane thing to be amazed, if he becomes worried for his own sake;]

atque ego quoque etiam, qui Iovis sum filius, contagione mei patris metuo malum.
[And even I too, who am the son of Jove, fear the evil that springs from the contagion of my father.]

propterea pace advenio
 [So, for that matter, I approach you in peace]

 et pacem ad vos affero:~
[and I offer unto you all, peace.]

iustam rem et facilem esse oratam a vobis volo,
[I want the affair spoken by you all to be just and easy,]

nam iusta ab iustis iustus sum orator datus. 
[you see, I'm was ordained a just speaker, about just things, by just peoples.]

nam iniusta ab iustis impetrari non decet,  
[on that point, it's not right to seek seek injustice from just people,]

iusta autem ab iniustis petere insipientia est;
[and yet, its downright stupid to seek justice from unjust people;]

quippe illi iniqui ius ignorant neque tenent. 
[and really, those evil fellas don't know the law...don't understand it.]