Monday, July 25, 2011

Suetonius, Life of Vespasian

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus [Suetonius]
69-130 AD
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Imperial Era)


I. Rebellione trium principum et caede incertum diu et quasi vagum imperium suscepit
firmavitque tandem gens Flavia,
[After the insurgency of three emperors, and undetermined slaughter, at last the Flavian clan took under its wing the control of the government, which had for a long time been hazy,]

obscura illa quidem ac sine ullis maiorum imaginibus,
[that one being of quite obscure origin, and lacking any public statues of their ancestors,]

 sed tamen rei p. nequaquam paenitenda;
[and despite this, one did not suffer in vain during the Republic;]

 constet licet,
[so, let us agree]

 Domitianum cupiditatis ac saevitiae merito poenas luisse.
[that it had deservedly paid the price for Domitian's cupidity and cruelty.]

T. Flavius Petro, municeps Reatinus, bello civili Pompeianarum partium centurio an evocatus, profugit ex Pharsalica, acie domumque se contulit,
[Titus Flavius Petro, mayor of Reate, either a centurion on Pompey's side during the Civil War, or a lawyer, once carried his step home from the battlefield,]

ubi deinde venia et missione impetrata coactiones argentarias factitavit.
[when, after that, once he had been granted pardon and immunity, he made a living as a tax collector.]

Huius filium, cognomine Sabinus, expers militiae (etsi quidem eum primipilarem, nonnulli, cum adhuc ordiens duceret, sacramento solutum per causam valitudinis tradunt) publicum quadragesimae in Asia egit;
[He brought his son, whose name was Sabinus and was an experienced man of war --actually, some say that he was a soldier of first rank of spears, when he, a lieutenant, used to take the lead, and was discharged with a stipend on account of his failing health--he spent 40 years as a tax collector;]

manebantque imagines a civitatibus ei positae sub hoc titulo:
[they remained there, after they had been set up by the citizens, accompanied by this inscription:]

kalos telonesanti.
καλος τελονεσαντι
["A good business"]

 Postea faenus apud Helvetios exercuit
[After that, he practised his business among the Helvetians]

ibique diem obiit superstitibus uxore Vespasia Polla et duobus ex ea liberis,
[and there, he passed away, survived by his wife Vespasia Polla and two children from her,]

 quorum maior Sabinus ad praefecturam urbis,
 minor Vespasianus ad principatum usque processit.
[the older of whom was promoted to the mayorship of the city, and the young, Vespasian, almost to the head of the empire.]

Polla, Nursiae honesto genere orta, patrem habuit Vespasium Pollionem,
[Polla, who was born and raised from a noble lineage from Nursia, had a father named Vespasius Pollio,]

ter tribunum militum praefectumque castrorum,
[who was thrice a commander of the army and head of camp,]

 fratrem senatorem praetoriae dignitatis.
[while her brother was a senator with the office among the Praetorians.]

 Locus etiam ad sextum miliarium a Nursia Spoletium euntibus in monte summo appellatur Vespasiae,
[Also, a place around 6 miles from Nursia is called by travellers going to Spoleto, Vespasiae, at it very highest point,]

 ubi Vespasiorum complura monumenta exstant,
[where a great deal of statues of Vespasian still stand,]

 magnum indicium splendoris familiae et vetustatis.
[as a great token of his family's splendor and long standing.]

Non negaverim iactatum a quibusdam Petronis patrem e regione Transpadana fuisse mancipem operarum,
[I will not've denied that Petro's father, once he had been cast out from the region across the Po River valley by certain unnamed fellows, had once been an supervisor of works,]

quae ex Vmbria in Sabinos ad culturam agrorum quotannis commeare soleant;
[I mean, works that are accustomed every year to travel from Umbria to the land of the Sabines for the cultivation of their farms;]

subsedisse autem in oppido Reatino, uxore ibidem ducta.
[in any event, the man had still made his living in the town of Reate, and he took his wife there in the same place.]

Ipse ne vestigium quidem de hoc, quamvis satis curiose inquirerem, inveni.
[I myself can say I found no evidence regarding this, to tell you the truth, although I should beg the question all the more curiously.]

Vespasianus natus est in Sabinis ultra Reate vico modico,
[Vespasian was born in the lands of the Sabines, on the other side of the Reate, that very modest country town,]

cui nomen est Phalacrinae,
[to which belongs the name, Phalacrina,]

XV. kal. Dec. vesperi, Q. Sulpicio Camerino C. Poppaeo Sabino cons.,
[in the evening of the 15th Kalends of December, in the consul years of Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus and Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus,]

quinquennio ante quam Augustus excederet;
[on the 5th anniversary before which Augustus would pass away;]

educatus sub paterna avia Tertulla in praediis Cosanis.
[He was raised under his paternal aunt, Tertulla, under the customs of Cosa.]

Quare princeps quoque et locum incunabulorum assidue frequentavit,
[Thereafter, the emperor too eagerly visited the former place of his cribs and things,]

manente villa qualis fuerat olim,
[at the time when once there was still a country estate remaining,]

ne quid scilicet oculorum consuetudini deperiret;
[lest something naturally seem missing to assessment by one's eyes;]

et aviae memoriam tanto opere dilexit,
[and he so greatly liked the memory of his grandmother,]

ut sollemnibus ac festis diebus pocillo quoque eius argenteo potare perseveraverit.
[that he spent holidays and feast days too drinking from a silver cup of hers.]

Sumpta virili toga, latum clavum, quamquam fratre adepto, diu aversatus est,
[He donned his toga of manhood, and the wide senatorial stripe, but he was cast aside for a long time, although his brother was excelling,]

nec ut tandem appeteret compelli nisi a matre potuit.
[nor could he be compelled to finally engage himself, except by his mother.]

Ea demum extudit magis convicio quam precibus vel auctoritate,
[In the end, she pushed him more by her strict punishment than by her entreaties and authority,]

dum eum identidem per contumeliam anteambulonem fratris appellat.
[and at the same time, she, out of spite, called him a "step-down from his brother".]

Tribunatum in Thracia meruit;
[He gained a position as tribune in Thrace;]

quaestor Cretam et Cyrenas provinciam sorte cepit;
[as quaestor, he received Crete and the province of Cyrene by lot;]

aedilitatis ac mox praeturae candidatus,
[and as soon as he stood as a candidate for an aedileship and then praetorship,]

illam non sine repulsa sectoque vix adeptus est loco,
[he obtained that first office, not without first refusing it, and giving up his position,]

hanc prima statim petitione et in primis;
[and obtaining the second one by an initial request;]

praetor infensum senatui Gaium ne quo non genere demeretur,
[as praetor, so that he would seem to offend Gaius, a man spiteful to the senate class, in any sort or fashion,]

ludos extraordinarios pro victoria eius Germanica depoposcit,
[he demanded for extraordinary gladiatorial shows in honor of his victories in Germany,]

poenaeque coniuratorum addendum censuit
[and he voted for additional penalties for conspirators]

ut insepulti proicerentur.
[in that they would be left to rot outside unburied.]

Egit et gratias ei apud amplissimum ordinem,
[And he gave thanks to this man to the utmost degree]

quod se honore cenae dignatus esset.
[because he had deemed him deserving of a banquet's honor.]

Inter haec Flaviam Domitillam duxit uxorem,
[As these were going on, he took a wife, Flavia Domitilla,]

Statilii Capellae equitis R. Sabratensis ex Africa delicatam olim Latinaeque condicionis,
[the choice daughter from Sabratensia in Africa of a Roman knight Statilius Capella who once had the status of being a Latin citizen,]

sed mox ingenuam et civem Rom. reciperatorio iudicio pronuntiatam,
[but over time was pronounced as native born Roman by the judge's favor,]

patre asserente Flavio Liberale Ferenti genito nec quicquam amplius quam quaestorio scriba.
[with her father wedding her to a family member, Flavius Liberalis Ferentius, although this man had achieved no higher ranking than a quaestor's secretary.]

Ex hac liberos tulit Titum et Domitianum et Domitillam.
[From this point, she born free-born children, Titus, Domitian, and Domitilla.]

Vxori ac filiae superstes fuit,
[He survived the death's of his wife and daughter,]

atque utramque adhuc privatus amisit. 
[and he lost both of them at the time when he was not on duty.]

Post uxoris excessum Caenidem, Antoniae libertam et a manu, dilectam quondam sibi revocavit in contubernium,
[After the passing of his wife, he invited Caenis into his private life, a women freed from the Antonia's possession, and one of his sweethearts,]

habuitque etiam imperator paene iustae uxoris loco.
[and even as emperor, he often treated her in a position similar to a wife.]

IV. Claudio principe Narcissi gratia legatus legionis in Germaniam missus est;
[Under the emperor Claudius, he was sent to Germany as the commander of a legion, as a favor to Narcissus;]

inde in Britanniam translatus tricies cum hoste conflixit.
[soon after he was transferred to Britain, he crossed swords with the enemy.]

Duas validissimas gentes superque viginti oppida et insulam Vectem Britanniae proximan in dicionem redegit,
[He subjugated  two of the sturdiest nations of people there, and over twenty towns, and Vectis, an island near Britain,]

partim Auli Plautii legati consularis, partim Claudi ipsius ductu.
[partly under the lead of the consular legate, Aulus Plautius, and partly under Claudius himself.]

Quare triumphalia ornamenta et in brevi spatio duplex sacerdotium accepit,
[For that, he received the honor of wearing triumphal garb and two offices among the priests in a short span of time,]

praeterea consulatum, quem gessit per duos novissimos anni menses.
[and a position as consul after that, which he performed for the last two months of the next year.]

 Medium tempus ad proconsulatum usque in otio secessuque egit,
[He spent the interim of that time as a pro-consul, until his break period and termination,]

Agrippinam timens potentem adhuc apud filium et defuncti quoque Narcissi amici perosam.
[as he began to fear Agrippina, already influential with her son and also a rival of his now-deceased patron Narcissus.]