Friday, July 15, 2011

Scriptores Historiae Augustae, The Three Gordians

Augustan Histories [Historia Augusta]
Scriptores Historiae Augustae
117-284 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


I. 1 Fuerat quidem consilium, venerabilis Auguste,
[Indeed, it had been my decision, venerable Augustus,]

ut singulos quosque imperatores exemplo multorum libris singulis ad tuam clementiam destinarem.
[that I should describe each and every one of the emperors, in individual books, as a lesson to the public about your own clemency.]

2 Nam id multos fecisse vel ipse videram
[You see, either I myself had seen many men act,]

 vel lectione conceperant.
[or they had grown clear from reading about them.]

 3 Sed inprobum visum est vel pietatem tuam tuam multitudine distinere librorum vel meum laborem plurimis voluminibus occupare.
[But it seemed inappropriate to either address your sense of duty in a multitude of books, or to take to task my labor in a great deal of scrolls.]

4 Quare tres Gordianos hoc libro conexui,
[So that's why I've rounded off the three Gordiani in this book,]

consulens et meo labori et lectioni tuae,
[as I plan for my hard work and your reading,]

ne cogeneris plurimos codices volvendo unam tamen paene historiam lectitare.
[for you not to be forced to have to repeatedly read still another individual historical biography, by rolling up several codices of men who share the same stock.]

 5 Sed ne ego, qui longitudinem librorum fugi multitudinemque verborum, in eam incurrisse videar, quam me urbane declinare confingo,
[But, lest I, for my part, who think it right to flee lengthy books and multitude of words, or to have run upon the point, which I'm, in sophisticated fashion, holding fast to decline,]

iam rem adgrediar.
[I will now begin the matter of my story.]

II. 1 Gordiani non, ut quidam inperiti scriptores locuntur, duo sed tres fuerunt,
[There were not two Gordians, as certain unlearned writers say, rather three of them,]

idque docente Arriano, scriptore Graecae historiae, docente item Dexippo, Graeco auctore, potuerunt addiscere,
[as the instructor Arrian, a writer of Greek history, and likewise the instructor Dexippus, another Greek author, have managed to teach the matter,]

 qui etiamsi breviter, ad finem tamen omnia persecuti sunt.
[and these were men who, even if only briefly, still described every detail to the end.]

 2 Horum Gordianus senior, id est primus, natus est patre Maecio Marullo, matre Ulpia Gordiana,
[The older Gordian, that is the first one, was born to his father named Maecius Marullus, and mother Ulpia Gordiana,]

 originem paternam ex Gracchorum genere habuit,
[his father's lineage being Greek,]

 maternam ex Traiani imperatoris,
[his mother's from the emperor Trajan,]

 patre, avo, proavo consulibus, socero, prosocero et item alio prosocero et duobus absoceris consulibus,
[and his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were consuls, and father in law, grandfather in law, and likewise, on the other side of his family, grandfather in law, and too great grandfathers in law, were all consuls,]

3 ipse consul ditissimus ac potentissimus,
[but he was the richest and most powerful consul of them all,]

Romae Pompeianam domum possidens,
[and he owned a house in Rome and Pompeii,]

in provinciis tantum terrarum habens quantum nemo privatus.
[and no private citizen had as much land as he in the provinces.]

 4 Is post consulatum, quem egerat cum Alexandro, ad proconsulatum Africae missus est ex senatus consulto.
[This man, after his consulship, which he served alongside Alexander, was assigned to the proconsulship of Africa by the decree of the senate.]

III. 1 Sed priusquam de imperio eius loquar,
[But before I begin to speak about his time in power,]

dicam pauca de moribus:
[let me say a few words about his character:]