Pliny's Letters- 3.14 (Letter 14) Murder of a Master

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  • Created by: Lydia22
  • Created on: 26-12-15 16:51
REM atrocem nec tantum epistula dignam Larcius Macedo, vir praetorius, a servis suis passus est, superbus alioqui dominus et saevus, et qui servisse patrem suum parum, immo nimium meminisset.
Larcius Macedo a man of praetorian rank, an arrogant master besides cruel, who rememered too little that his father had been a slave, or rather too much, has suffered a terrible thing at the hands of his slaves, a thing not suitable for a letter.
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Lavabatur in villa Formiana.
he was being washed in his villa at Formaie.
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Repente eum servi circumsistunt;
suddenly his slaves surround him.
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alius fauces invadit, alius os verberat, alius pectus et ventrem, atque etiam, foedum dictu, verenda contundit;
one attacks his throat, another batters his mouth, another his chest and stomach, and even, foul to say- crushed his private parts;
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et, cum exanimem putarent, abiciunt in fervens pavimentum, ut experirentur, an viveret.
and when they think that he is dead, they throw him onto the boilingfloor, to test whether he is alive.
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Ille, sive quia non sentiebat, sive quia se non sentire simulabat, immobilis et extentus fidem peractae mortis implevit.
whether because he had no feeling or because he was pretending that he had feeling, immobile and stretched out he gae a faithful picture of death accomplished.
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Tum demum quasi aestu solutus effertur; excipiunt servi fideliores, concubinae cum ululatu et clamore concurrunt.
then at last as if he has fainted from the heat he is carriedout; his more loyal slaves and his concubines run up with wailing and shouting.
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Ita et vocibus excitatus et recreatus loci frigore sublatis oculis agitatoque corpore vivere se (et iam tutum erat) confitetur.
in this way both roused by the voices and restored by the cold of the place, after lifting his eyes and moving his body, he reveals (and now it was safe) that he was alive.
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Diffugiunt servi; quorum magna pars comprehensa est, ceteri requiruntur.
the slaves run off; the majority were arrested, the others are being huted.
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Ipse paucis diebus aegre focilatus non sine ultionis solacio decessit ita vivus vindicatus, ut occisi solent.
he himself warmed up with difficulty, died within a few days, but not without the consolation of revenge, thus vindicated while she was alive those who have committed murder are accustomed to revenge.
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Vides, quot periculis, quot contumeliis, quot ludibriis simus obnoxii; nec est, quod quisquam possit esse securus, quia sit remissus et mitis;
you see to how many dangers, how many insults, how many jokes we are exposed, and it is not the case that anyone can be free from care, because he is restrained and kind;
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non enim iudicio domini, sed scelere perimuntur.
for masters are killed not by verdict but by a crime.
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Verum haec hactenus.
but so much for that!
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Quid praeterea novi? quid? nihil; alioqui subiungerem;
what is new? what? nothing; otherwise I would be adding below;
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nam et charta adhuc superest, et dies feriatus patitur plura contexi.
for both there is still papyrus left and the festival day allows more to be composed.
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Addam, quod opportune de eodem Macedone succurrit.
i will add something which by chance happened to the smae Macedo.
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Cum in publico Romae lavaretur, notabilis atque etiam, ut exitus docuit, ominosa res accidit.
when he was bathing in the public bath at Rome, a remarkable and even, as the outcome has shown, ominous thing happened.
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Eques Romanus a servo eius, ut transitum daret, manu leviter admonitus convertit se nec servum, a quo erat tactus, sed ipsum Macedonem tam graviter palma percussit, ut paene concideret.
A Roman eques, lightly touched by the hand of his [Macedo's] slave to make way, turned and struck... not the slave, by whom he had been touched, but Macedo himself, [and he struck him] so hard with his pal that he almost fell.
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Ita balineum illi quasi per gradus quosdam primum contumeliae locus, deinde exiti fuit. Vale.
so the baths were to him as if by certain steps first the place for an insult, then for his death. goodbye.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Lavabatur in villa Formiana.


he was being washed in his villa at Formaie.

Card 3


Repente eum servi circumsistunt;


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


alius fauces invadit, alius os verberat, alius pectus et ventrem, atque etiam, foedum dictu, verenda contundit;


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


et, cum exanimem putarent, abiciunt in fervens pavimentum, ut experirentur, an viveret.


Preview of the front of card 5
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