PYTHIUS: part 1
When Caius Canius, a Roman knight, travelled to Syracuse, he said that he
wanted to buy some small estate to which he could invite friends and amuse
himself without intruders. When this became well known, a certain Pythius, who ran
a bank in Syracuse, said to him that he had some gardens, admittedly not for sale,
which he could use, if he wated, as his own.
- 'eques'-'knight' = he is incredibly weathly
- 'quidem'- used to flag up a contrast, 'they were not for sale, BUT...'
- 'Canius'- subject delayed for emphasis
PYTHIUS: part 2
At the same time, he invited the men to his gardens. When accepted, he then
summoned some fishermen to catch some fish infront of his estate on the next day
and what he wanted them to do. Canius came for the meal on time. A large number
of boats were seen before his eyes. Each man according to his ability brought what
he had caught. They threw them down at Phythius' feet.
- 'cymbarum...multitudo'- word order and ommission of the verb 'to be' emphasises the great number of boats
- 'ante pedes'- word order- putting this first makes the scene more vivid.
- Alitteration of 'p' imitates the splashing of the fish on the ground.
PYTHIUS: part 3
Then Canius said, "What is this then, Pythius? Whare are there so many fish and
so many boats?"
Pythius replied, "What's so strange about that? All the fish that are in Syracuse are
in this place." Inflamed by greed, Canius begged Pythius to sell. He refused at first.
At last, however, the greedy, rich man bought it for as much as Pythius wanted.
- 'quis...cumbrae'- excitement of Canius brought out by the double question
- repetition of 'tot' and ommission of verb 'to be' makes the scene more vivid.
- 'incensus'-emphatic first word, Canius is on fire because of his greed.
- 'incencus Canius cupidate contendit'-Alitteration of 'c' denotes eagerness of Canius to buy the gardens
- 'recusavit...primo'- emphatic positions, keeping Canius on the hook, making him more determined to buy.
PYTHIUS: part 4
Next day Canius invited his close friends. He himself came early. He saw no boat.
He asked his nearest neighbour whether it was a holiday for fishermen. He said,
"Not as far as i know. But there are not fishermen here usually.So yesterday i was
amazed at what had happened." Canius was very angry. But what could he do?
- four successive historic presents
-makes the scene more vivid
-produces a lengthy chiasmus in
-'invitat familiares sues...nullam cumbam videt'
-also forms a balance (verb subject verb)
- 'nullae...nulli'- repetition, negative, contrasts with happiness the day before
- 'iratissimes'- emphatic position, omission of verb 'to be'
Here are the first letters of each word in each section of PYTHIUS.
Try to recall the words from the first letter alone, if you need herlp, you may look back to the translation. This will help you to remember the passages. Good luck!