Latin Prose: Mourning

Agrippina's super upset because her hubby has  just died, so yeh..

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Mourning: part 1

But Agrippina, though worn out by grief and a sick body was however impatient of everything that would delay revenge. She boarded a ship with the ashes of Germanicus and with their children while everyone pitied her because a woman of her highest nobility and the finest marriage, who deserved the respect of everyone, was then carrying the remains of her dead husband in her arms. Meanwhile, a message reached Piso on the island of Cos that Germanicus had died. Rejoicing at this, he slaughtered victims and visited temples. Not only did Piso himself behave with excessive joy, but Plancina became more arrogant. She then for the first time changed her mourning clothes from when her sister died to cheerful clothes.

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Mourning: part 2

Having not interrupted her voyage over the wintry sea at all, Agrippina approached Brudisium. Meanwhile, hearing of her arrival, many friends and very many soldiers who served under Germanicus, rushed to the harbour. As soon as the ship was seen, they filled not only the harbour, but even walls and the houses. The crowd of people was mourning and asking one another whether to welcome Agrippina as she got off the ship in silence or with some voices. The ship approached slowly, not quickly as usual, but with all the signs of mourning. After she came off the ship with her two children while holding the funeral urn, she lowered her eyes and everyone gave a groan at the same time.


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Mourning: part 3

But at rome, after the report of the spread of Germanicus' bad health and everything, as usually happens from a distance, with pessimistic exaggeration, grief, anger and lamentation broke out. They were saying that that was evidently the reason why Germanicus was exiled to a far away land and for that reason the province was given to Piso. When Germanicus' death was announced, it aggravated so much the people's conversations that before the magistrate proclaims and before the senator decrees, a break from legal business was taken and the forum was deserted and the homes were shut. Everywhere there was silence and groaning. Although they did not refrain from the outward signs of mourning, they mourned more deeply in their hearts.

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Part 1:
Agrippina is described in a tricolon. She was;

  • weary with grief
  • sick body
  • impatient (of everything that would delay revenge).

There is a huge change in fortune for Agrippina:

  • Was a woman of the highest nobility, now dead husband and children
  • Had a very beautiful marriage, now is a widow
  • Once deserved everyone's respect, now everyone's pitying her, uncertain of revenge

The reversal of fortune appears similar in greek Trajedy. The great are being brought down, we should pity them.

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The behaviour of Piso and Plancina is innapropriate;

  • He rejoiced, she came out of mourning
  • He slaughtered victims and visited temples, she put on cheerful clothes
  • He behaved with excessive joy, she became more arrogant.

Part 3:

'dolor, ira, questus'- tricolon of emotion and a good example of asyndeton as small connective words are ommitted, making the works quick and straight to the point.

'pisoni permissam provinciam'-alliteration highlights the reversal of roles (peripateia) as it means that the Provinces were given to Piso (when they weren't!).

'incendit'- effective choice of diction as it uses the image of burning to imply anger and the difficulty to stop a roumour, how quickly it spreads and how it is dangerous.

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A tricolon also shows the extent of mourning in Rome with the 'break take from leagal business, 'deserted forum' and the 'shut homes'. 

'ubique silentium et gemitus'-'ubique' (meaning everywhere) is highlighted. There is no verb and no word 'erat', use of asyndeton. This adds drama.

'lugentium...maerabant'- mourning and greiif, final idea reflects sadness

'navigatione hiberni mris'- usual Roman practice was to never sail ships in the winter. My home girl  Aggy was so desperate that she did. This shows desperation.

'ruerunt ad portum'- put at beginning of phrase to emphasise 'ruerunt', the verb which is supposed to be at the end.

'complentur'-historic present tense attempts to draw the reader in, making events happen before your eyes. more dramatic.

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Generating Sympathy...

'navigatione hiberni maris'- desperation.

'multi amicia et plurimi milites'-amount of people

'ruerunt'-word placement

'turba'-crowd of people

'simulae'-instantaeous reaction

'non solum portus..noenia..tecta'-tricolon, amount spreading everywhere.


'cunctis ad tristitiam compositis'- adds to sad atmosphere

'cum liberis, feralem urnam'-juxtaposition, dead husband and children

'defixit oculos'-lowered eyes, sadness

'omnium gemitus'-word position

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You are awesome! Latin prose exam on Monday...

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