Piso In Syria GCSE Latin Prose Literature

GCSE OCR Latin Literature - Prose Piso In Syria

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Piso In Syria - Translation - Part 1

But in order to start his plans more quickly, after reaching Syria and the legions, Gnaeus Piso started to help the most disreputable of the soldiers with generous gifts and bribery.

When he had removed the long-serving centurions and the strict military tribunes and had handed over their places to his own clients, he allowed idleness in camp, hooliganism in the cities and soldiers running riot throught the country side.

Nor did Plancina, Piso's wife, behave herself as was fitting for a Lady, but she attended the cavalry exercises and hurled insults at Aggripina and Germanicus, but his more pressing concern was to attend first to the Armenians.

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Analysis Notes:

Lines 5-6: desidiam....sinebat

Tacitus tells us what the three effects of Piso's replacement of the old-fashioned, experienced officers were on the army:

  • Idleness
  • Hooliganism
  • Rampage
  • Given how difficult the military situation was around Syria, letting the army go slack was not a good idea.

Line 6: Plancina

  • The wife of Piso.
  • Used to being the most important Roman Woman and seems to resent Aggripina's presence and role in the Province.
  • Aggripina was very popular as a model wife and mother; Tacitus contrasts Plancina with her.
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Analysis Notes (2)

Lines 8-9: nota haec Germanico.....

  • Tacitus suggests Germanicus was aware of what Piso was up to. Yet doesn't do anything about it, because he has other worries.
  • Perhaps shown as foolish, maybe he should have sorted out Piso there and then.
  • Tacitus again shows contrasts: this time between Piso and Germanicus. Piso doesn't care about military issues; it's all that Germanicus cares about (as he should).
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Test yourself!

Try and remember the translation using the first letter of each word.

B i i t s h p m q, a r S a t l, G P s t h t m d o t s w g g a b.

W h h r t l-s c a t s m t a h h o t p t h o c, h a i i c, h i t c a s r r t t c s. 

N d P, P w, b h a w f f a l, b s a t c e a h i a A a G, b h m p c w t a f t t A.

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