Thursday, April 7, 2011

Frontinus, On Aqueducts

Sextus Julius Frontinus [Frontinus]
40-103 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


1. Cum omnis res ab imperatore delegata intentiorem exigat curam,
[Since every matter demands even more serious care when its assigned by one's emperor]

 et me seu naturalis sollicitudo seu fides sedula non ad diligentiam modo verum ad amorem quoque commissae rei instigent
[and since either my natural tendency to worry, or a innate loyalty, not only goads me to a dedication for but also, and earnestly, to a passion for the job I've been commissioned]

 sitque nunc mihi ab Nerva Augusto,
[and now this has been done for me by the Augustus, Nerva]

nescio diligentiore an amantiore rei publicae imperatore,
[an emperor more diligent or passionate about our commonwealth I cannot find]

 aquarum iniunctum officium ad usum,
tum ad salubritatem atque etiam securitatem urbis pertinens,
[as I turn my attention to my duty as it relates to the use of our aqueducts, and then to the sanitation and security of our city]

administratum per principes semper civitatis nostrae viros, primum ac potissimum existimo,
[I esteem that the so long as it is governed through the leading men of our city, it will be top-rate and of highest capability]

 sicut in ceteris negotiis institueram, nosse quod suscepi.
[so just as I have in the past published works about other subjects, do know what I have undertaken now.]

2. Neque enim ullum omnis actus certius fundamentum crediderim,
[You see, I won't have believed any foundation of every type of act to be more assured]

aut aliter quae facienda quaeque vitanda sint posse decerni,
[or otherwise to be able to perceive what must be done and what to be avoided,]

 aliudve tam indecorum tolerabili viro,
[or anything else so unworthy of a man with enduring patience,]

quam delegatum officium ex adiutorum agere praeceptis,
[than to perform my assigned duty according to the instructions of my patrons,]

quod fieri necesse est,
[something that must necessarily happen]

quotiens imperitia praepositi ad illorum decurrit usum;
[however many times the inexperience of something place before them becomes an object of their agenda.]

 quorum etsi necessariae partes sunt ad ministerium,
[even still is their contribution necessary for their maintenance,]

 tamen ut manus quaedam et instrumentum agentis. ***
[nevertheless like a certain hands and tool of the administrator.]

 Quapropter ea quae ad universam rem pertinentia contrahere potui,
[On account of these things which I assign every single matter with relevance,] 

more iam per multa mihi officia servato in ordinem et velut corpus diducta in hunc commentarium contuli,
[And now, I confer into this commentary, as I preserve the tradition through my various duties, like a body of work passed down,]

 quem pro formula administrationis respicere possem.
[which I could cast an eye back to as a formula for one's management.]

In aliis autem libris, quos post experimenta et usum composui,
[And yet, in the other books which I wrote in accordance to my experiences and knowledge,]

succedentium res acta est;
[an understanding of the following has been attained;]

huius commentarii pertinebit fortassis et ad successorem utilitas,
[and perhaps the utility of this commentary will be relevant to my successor,]

 sed cum inter initia administrationis meae scriptus sit,
[but since it's been written amidst the very beginnings of my administration,]

in primis ad meam institutionem regulamque proficiet.
[it, in its first stages, will do my own instruction and habits good.]

3. Ac ne quid ad totius rei pertinens notitiam praetermisisse videar,
[And so that I not seem to have skipped over something important trying to cover a mention of every single detail,]

 nomina primum aquarum, quae in urbem Romam influunt, ponam;
[I shall first declare the names of the aquaducts that flow into the city of Rome;]

 tum per quos quaeque earum et quibus consulibus, quoto post urbem conditam anno perducta sit;
[after that, the builder who created them, and in what consul year, and how many years that might be since the founding of our city;]

 dein quibus ex locis et a quoto miliario capta sit ac quantum subterraneo rivo,
[after that, from which locations and the distance in miles, and how deep underground from the which their source derives,]

quantum substructione, quantum opere arcuato;
[and how large their structure above ground is, and how curved their arches are;]