Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nepos, Themistocles

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


[1] THEMISTOCLES, Neocli filius, Atheniensis.
[Themistocles, the son of Neoclus, was an Athenian.]

Huius vitia ineuntis adulescentiae magnis sunt emendata virtutibus,
[The vices of his adolescence, in the beginning, were emended by his great qualities,]

adeo ut anteferatur huic nemo,
[the result being that no one could be placed ahead of him]

pauci pares putentur.
[and only few men are thought to be his equals.]

 2 Sed ab initio est ordiendus.
[But I must start from the beginning.]

Pater eius Neocles generosus fuit.
[His father Neocles was a man of high repute.]

Is uxorem Acarnanam civem duxit,
[He took a Acarnian citizen for his wife,]

 ex qua natus est Themistocles.
[from whom was born Themistocles.]

 Qui cum minus esset probatus parentibus,
[And while he could be lauded less by his parents,]

 quod et liberius vivebat et rem familiarem neglegebat,
[given that he lived more freely than usual, and he used to ignore any obligations to his family,]

a patre exheredatus est.
[he was disowned by his father.]

3 Quae contumelia non fregit eum,
[But his state of disgrace did not break him down,]

 sed erexit.
[but rather bolstered him.]

 Nam cum iudicasset sine summa industria non posse eam exstingui,
[You see, when he had judged that it could not be stamped out, without the utmost toil,]

 totum se dedidit rei publicae.
[then he dedicated himself completely to the service of his state.]

Diligentius amicis famaeque serviens multum in iudiciis privatis versabatur,
[And tending more diligent to his friends, and to his appetite, he began to become involved in the legal affairs of private citizens,]

saepe in contionem populi prodibat;
[and he often used to step forward in the people's assembly;]

 nulla res maior sine eo gerebatur;
[no significant matter was attended to without his involvement;]

 celeriter, quae opus erant, reperiebat, facile eadem oratione explicabat.
[he could quickly discover what things needed to be done, and explain them with ease in the same speech.]

 4 Neque minus in rebus gerendis promptus quam excogitandis erat, quod et de instantibus,
 ut ait Thucydides, verissime iudicabat
[As Thucydides says, he, no less ready to carry affairs out than to ponder upon them thoroughly, used to offer his judgment most truthfully, and right on the spot]

et de futuris callidissime coniciebat.
[and in the most intelligent fashion possible, he could imagine their impact in the future.]

 Quo factum est, ut brevi tempore illustraretur.
[And that is how it came to pass that he became so famous in such a brief amount of time.]

[2] Primus autem gradus fuit capessendae rei publicae bello Corcyraeo;
[In any event, this was the very first step he took the state towards in its war against Corcyra;]

ad quod gerendum praetor a populo factus non solum praesenti bello, sed etiam reliquo tempore ferociorem reddidit civitatem.
[to which he was not only appointment lead commander by the people, with the mission of waging the current war, but in his remaining free time, he render the citizenry even fiercer.]

 2 Nam cum pecunia publica, quae ex metallis redibat, largitione magistratuum quotannis interiret,
[You see, since every year the public funds that were rendered from the minefields were collected,]

ille persuasit populo,
[he persuaded the people]

 ut ea pecunia classis centum navium aedificaretur.
[a fleet of hundred ships should be constructed using this money.]

 3 Qua celeriter effecta primum Corcyraeos fregit,
[And after this was quickly executed, he first broke the Corcyra's power,]

 deinde maritimos praedones consectando mare tutum reddidit.
[and then he render the sea safe by intercepting its maritime pirates.]

In quo cum divitiis ornavit,
[In that time, he was ordained with great wealth,]

 tum etiam peritissimos belli navalis fecit Athenienses.
[but even at that time, he made the Athenians the most experienced people in naval warfare.]

 4 Id quantae saluti fuerit universae Graeciae,
[This was destined to become such a free favor to Greece,]

 bello cognitum est Persico.
[when it was recognized during the Persian War.]

 Nam cum Xerxes et mari et terra bellum universae inferret Europae cum tantis copiis,
[You see, when Xerxes began to bring the war, by land and sea, to Europe, with such tremendous hordes,]

quantas neque ante nec postea habuit quisquam - 5
[as many as no one has every again see, either before or afterward ,]

 huius enim classis mille et ducentarum navium longarum fuit,
[given that his fleet consisted of 1,200 long battle ships]

quam duo milia onerariarum sequebantur;
[and there followed 200,000 beasts of burden.]

 terrestres autem exercitus DCC peditum, equitum CCCC milia fuerunt -,
[in any event, there 700,000 infantry soldiers, and 400,000 cavalry]

 6 cuius de adventu cum fama in Graeciam esset perlata
[and his arrival had been carried forth into Greece, with great fame,]

 et maxime Athenienses peti dicerentur propter pugnam Marathoniam,
[and most of all, the Athenians were said to have been sought after, on account of their battle at Marathon,]

 miserunt Delphos consultum,
[and they sought counsel from Delos,]

quidnam facerent de rebus suis.
[on what exactly they could manage to do concerning their state of affairs.]

Deliberantibus Pythia respondit,
[The Pythian oracle replied to those deliberating the matter,]

ut moenibus ligneis se munirent.
[that they could protect themselves in wooden walls.]

7 Id responsum quo valeret, cum intellegeret nemo,
[When no one could understand what exactly this response meant,]

 Themistocles persuasit consilium esse Apollinis,
[Themistocles convinced them that it was Apollo's advice,]

ut in naves se suaque conferrent:
[that they gather themselves and their property into their ships:]

 eum enim a deo significari murum ligneum.
[he explained that "wooden wall" was intended by the god to be exactly that.]

8 Tali consilio probato addunt ad superiores totidem naves triremes suaque omnia,
[So when that plan was agreed upon, the leaders of the city put all their people and things into their trireme ships,]

 quae moveri poterant,
[everything that they could manage to transport, that is,]

 partim Salamina, partim Troezena deportant;
[and they moved away, one section to Salamis, and another to Troezen.]

 arcem sacerdotibus paucisque maioribus natu ac sacra procuranda tradunt,
[They say that a few priest and elderly fellows stay behind to keep guard of their sacred items, in the citadel,]

reliquum oppidum relinquunt.
[but they left their city empty.]

[3] Huius consilium plerisque civitatibus displicebat
[But his plan began to cause displeasure to a great many citizens]

 et in terra dimicari magis placebat.
[and the idea of fighting it out on the ground began to please them more.]

 Itaque missi sunt delecti cum Leonida, Lacedaemoniorum rege,
[And so, men were selected to accompany Leonidas, the king of Sparta,]

 qui Thermopylas occuparent
[who would take hold of Thermopylae,]

longiusque barbaros progredi non paterentur.
[and not allow the barbarians to pass down any further.]

 Hi vim hostium non sustinuerunt
[These men did not end up withstanding the sheer force of their enemy]

eoque loco omnes interierunt.
[and they all were killed in that place.]

2 At classis communis Graeciae trecentarum navium, in qua ducentae erant Atheniensium,
[But the three allied ships of Greece, two hundred of which belonged to the Athenians,]

 primum apud Artemisium inter Euboeam continentemque terram cum classiariis regis conflixit.
[clashed against the king's fleet, first in Artemisium, between the straits of Euboea and the mainland.]

 Angustias enim Themistocles quaerebat,
[You see, Themistocles was aiming for the "Straits"]

 ne multitudine circuiretur.
[so that he did not have round away from the masses.]

 3 Hic etsi pari proelio discesserant,
[At that point, they had left with equal standing in the battle,]

 tamen eodem loco non sunt ausi manere,
[and yet, they did not dare to stay in this place,]

quod erat periculum,
[but there was a danger,]

 ne, si pars navium adversariorum Euboeam superasset, ancipiti premerentur periculo.
[that if part of the enemy's fleet had passed over Euboea, they would be pressed by utter and sheer destruction.]

 4 Quo factum est,
[Thusly it happened,]

ut ab Artemisio discederent
[that they withdrew from Artemisium,]

et exadversum Athenas apud Salamina classem suam constituerent.
[and they steer their fleet away from Athens to Salamis.]