Friday, May 20, 2011

Nepos, Eumenes

Cornelius Nepos
100-24 BCE
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)


[1] EUMENES Cardianus.
[Eumenes was from Cardia.]

 Huius si virtuti par data esset fortuna,
[If equal good fortune were added to his virtue,]

 non ille quidem maior exstitisset,
[our protagonist would in fact not only have stood out greater,]

 sed multo illustrior atque etiam honoratior,
[but more famous by far, and bestowed with higher positions,]

 quod magnos homines virtute metimur,
 non fortuna.
[because I judge great men by their qualities, not their good fortune.]

 2 Nam cum aetas eius incidisset in ea tempora,
[You see, while this man's life had come to a point in time,]

quibus Macedones florerent,
[when the Macedonians were enjoying success,]

 multum ei detraxit inter eos viventi,
[he took a great deal for himself, while he lived among them,]

 quod alienae erat civitatis,
[which he belonged to another city,]

neque aliud huic defuit quam generosa stirps.
[nor did he lack anything, except for the high-born background.]

3 Etsi ille domestico summo genere erat,
[Although our protagonist was born from the highest local stock you could find,]

 tamen Macedones eum sibi aliquando anteponi indigne ferebant,
[the Macedonians at times still acted as though it he wa given due undeservedly,]

 neque tamen non patiebantur.
[nor still could they endure it.]

 Vincebat enim omnes cura, vigilantia, patientia, calliditate et celeritate ingenii.
[You see, he surpassed everyone in his carefulness, watchfulness, patience, intelligence and quick wit.]

 4 Hic peradulescentulus ad amicitiam accessit Philippi, Amyntae filii,
[As a full grown youth, he became the friend of Philip, son of Amyntas,]

 brevique tempore in intimam pervenit familiaritatem.
[and in short time, he gained his innermost confidence.]

 5 Fulgebat enim iam in adulescentulo indoles virtutis.
[You see, the innate nature of his courage was already beginning to shine through in his young age.]

 Itaque eum habuit ad manum scribae loco,
[And so, he took himself to task in the post of a scribe,]

quod multo apud Graios honorificentius est quam apud Romanos.
[which was by far more illustrious in the Greek world than among the Romans.]

Namque apud nos re vera, sicut sunt, mercennarii scribae existimantur;
[And actually, if I can mention, scribes are esteemed to be mercenaries in our world--as they actually are;]

at apud illos e contrario nemo ad id officium admittitur nisi honesto loco, et fide et industria cognita,
[but, by contrast, among those Greeks, no one is alllowed to this official position unless it is by consequence of his noble station, and fealty, and prestigious work ethic,]

quod necesse est omnium consiliorum eum esse participem.
[since it is required that he be a party of all official business.]

Hunc locum tenuit amicitiae apud Philippum annos septem.
[He held this position, in Philip's good graces, for seven years.]

Illo interfecto eodem gradu fuit apud Alexandrum annos tredecim.
[When the latter was assassinated, he remained in the same rank under Alexander for thirteen years.]

Novissimo tempore praefuit etiam alterae equitum alae, quae Hetaerice appellabatur.
[He even excelled a little while later on the lesser wing of the cavalry, which was called the Hetairike.]

Utrique autem in consilio semper adfuit et omnium rerum habitus est particeps.
[And yet, he was present for all instances of counsel, and he was a willing and competent participant of all of their affairs.]

Alexandro Babylone mortuo cum regna singulis familiaribus dispertirentur
[When Alexander died in Babylon, his dominion was divided among his individual minions]

et summa rerum tradita esset tuenda eidem,
[and the most important affairs to be looked after were assigned to the very same man]

 cui Alexander moriens anulum suum dederat, Perdiccae -
[I mean, to whom Alexander, on his death throes, had given his signet ring, Perdiccas,]

ex quo omnes coniecerant eum regnum ei commisisse, 
[the man out of whom they all had agreed upon that he had commissioned his reign,]

quoad liberi eius in suam tutelam pervenissent:
[since his own legitimate children had come under his tutelage:]

aberat enim Crateros et Antipater, qui antecedere hunc videbantur;
[you see, Crateros and Antipater were not present, both of whom could seem to excel him;]

mortuus erat Hephaestio, quem unum Alexander, quod facile intellegi posset, plurimi fecerat -,
[Hephaestus was dead, the sole man whom Alexander had valued so much, which one could easily perceive--]

hoc tempore data est Eumeni Cappadocia sive potius dicta:
[at this time, Cappadocia, more or less, was given to Eumenes:]

 nam tum in hostium erat potestate.
[you see, at that time, it was still under in the hands of enemy forces.]

Hunc sibi Perdiccas adiunxerat magno studio,
[Perdiccas had previously drew him under his wing with great zeal,]

quod in homine iidem et industriam magnam videbat
[because he saw in this man excellent work ethic]