Pliny notes

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et mihi discedi et tibi docendi
this is a balanced pair of phrases. Discendi is balanced with its opposite docendi. Flatters his friend by saying that he wants to learn from him. et sets a chatty, informal tone.
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phantasmata, numen imaginem
lexical choice. Suggestitive of the supernatural and they set the scene for a ghost story.
2 of 60
metu nostro
suggests an atmosphere of fear.
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suggests the power of the supernatural over the mind,
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inania et vana and ex metu nostro imaginem accipere
suggests that the ghosts might be imaginary.
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scire, esse, habere, accipere
4 infinitives. They create a fst dynamic pace.
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habere propiam...imaginem accipere
chiasmus. It gives Pliny a philosophical tone- would the superstitious Romans have considered ghosts as a more serious topic than the average modern reader?
7 of 60
inania et vana
pleonasm adds to the chatty tone. Also the elision makes the ghosts seem empty as the words run together.
8 of 60
polysyndeton. It adds to the fast-paced, conversational feel.
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ut esse
emphatic, and signals an interesting story.
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eo...quod audio accidisse
they introduce the story, leads the reader to wonder at what will happen.
11 of 60
tenuis adhuc et obscurus
Pliny points out how lowly Curtius Rufus is in order to suggest that there is something suprising about his rise to supreme authority.
12 of 60
honores and summo imperio
these adjectives can be applied to to a ghost and here Pliny is toying with the reader.
13 of 60
inclinato die
a quiet time of day, most people would be taking a siesta- maybe highlights the extraordinary situation.
14 of 60
The verb comes before the subject to create suspense.
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humana grandior pulchriorque
The 2 comparative adjectives highlight how this is no ordinary woman.
16 of 60
place at the beginning of a sentence, the word shows Rufus' reaction to the apparition. The hyperbaton in this line also echoes his shock.
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the ghost is a personification of the place he is going to go to- foreshadows future events quite literally.
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it is emitted in the prophecy to make it more concise and direct
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Future participles. Makes it sound as though all these things are sure to happen. The last of them comes at the very end of the sentence and highlights the shock of it.
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facta sunt omnia
short sentence. it contrasts with the sentence before it and draws the reader's attention to the fact that eveything turned out according to the prophecy.
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accedenti Carthaginem egredienti
present participles. these draw attention to what happened to Curtius Rufus.
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figura in litore occurisse narratur
rolling r's. they reflect the terror inspired by the phantom.
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implicatus morbo
the word implicatus is dramatic. He did not just get il he became "entangled" in his illness- this suggests the incurable nature of his disease.
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futura praeteritis, adversa secundis
balanced pair of phrases. Both contrast in meaning, the reflect what will happen to him, he has experienced the good things so now he will experience death.
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spem salutis nullo suorum desperante proiecit.
This caused Rufus to give up hope. Does Pliny mean that the prophecy was self-fulfilling or that his acceptance of his fate was evidence that he knew his future from the his encounters with the ghost.
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nonne et magis terribile et non minus mirum
repetition of nonne...non and emphatically placed et. the 2 words of wonder terribile and mirum and the use of opposites magis and minus and the litotes build Pliny's sense of amazement at the next story. the whole phrase is periphrasis.
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exponam ut accepi
a common device with ghost stories. the author claims to be relating a story that he has heard on good authority.
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putting erat at the beginning makes it sound like the opening of a story.
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it is a city far away-makes it seem exciting and foreign, makes the story seem more strange.
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spatiosa et capax and infamis et pestilens
the description of the house using the two pairs contrasts.
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per silentium noctis
it sets the scene. the sibilance sets a hushed, sinister tone which builds suspense.
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si attenderes acrius
second person. invites the reader to hear the sounds as they grow louder, invovles the reader makes them more intrigued by what is going on.
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longius primo, deinde e proximo
a chiasmus- highlights how the sounds is growing louder and closer.
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it suggests and echo building an atmosphere of supense.
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the use of a greek word is appropriate in the setting. Makes Pliny seem more knowledgeable and makes the story more believable.
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macie et squalore confectus, promissa barba horrenti capillo
horrific wasted appearance. Asyndeton in this description, the lack of conjuctions creates an intensely vivid description.
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cruribus compedes...catenas
alliteration- harsh c sounds suggests the clinking of the chains.
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figura etymologica highlights hiw they stayed awake from fear.
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catachresis brings the fear to life.
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imago...imaginis...timoris timor
chiasmus and polyptoton add to the lively tone.
41 of 60
nesting phrase gives the prominence to the word longior and allows the juxtaposition of timoris and timor.
42 of 60 damnata
alliteration and emphatic placement draw attention to these two adjectives which recall the description of the house earlier as infamis and pestilens.
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the fact that the house was empty and uninhabited is emphasised by this word.
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this word reminds us of the fear that this ghost inspired.
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totaque illi monstor relicta
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suspecta vilitas
shows that Athenodorus was no ignarus because he realised when he heard how cheap the house was that there must be a catch. As a result he made enquiries and found out about it.
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ubi coepit advesperascere
it was getting dark,ie the time when ghosts come out. Note how Pliny sets the scene by telling us the time of day, as he did with the story of the apparition seen by Curtius Rufus.
48 of 60
three orders given by Athenodorus are described in three phrases but no conjunctions(asyndeton) speeds up the pace of the story.
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a number of words for emptiness and falseness suggest that Athenodorus does not believe in ghosts.
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animum oculos manum
Asyndeton again, parallels pugillares stilum lumen in the previous sentence, again reflecting Athenodorus' calmness.
51 of 60
Pliny shifts arubtly form long sentences to short phrases to increase the drama and the pace of the action.
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concuti ferrum vincula moveri
Chiasmus and onomatopoeic concunti enhance drama.
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four verbs in the infinitive. the historic infinitive is used to show how Athenodorus persisted in his work and kept refusing to be distracted.
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offirmare animum auribusque praetendere
chiasmus highlights Athenodorus' resolve and mental discipline
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tum crebrescere...audiri
Pliny continues with historic infinitives telling us how just as in the original description the noises get steadily louder =. he builds up tension by describing how the noises get closer and closer using the repetition of iam for dramatic effect.
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crebrescere fragor
cacophany echoes the noise of the ghost
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respicit, videt agnoscitque
until now we have only heard the ghost. now the tricolon of verbs represents the climax and release of tension as Athenodorus finally looks up and sees it. Note that Pliny has suddenly switched to the present tense verbs for maximum immediacy.
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stabat innuebatque
Now the ghost is the subject and this pair of imperfect infinitive verbs invites us to imagine it standing and beckoning . the 2 verbs are at the start of the sentence which enhances the drama at the ghost's entrance.
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cacophany echoes the rattling of the chains.
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Card 2


phantasmata, numen imaginem


lexical choice. Suggestitive of the supernatural and they set the scene for a ghost story.

Card 3


metu nostro


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4




Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


inania et vana and ex metu nostro imaginem accipere


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