Pliny's Letters- Letter 1.12 (5) A Roman Suicide

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  • Created by: Lydia22
  • Created on: 23-12-15 22:07
Iacturam gravissimam feci, si iactura dicenda est tanti viri amisso.
I have suffered very great damage, if the loss of such a great man should be called 'damage'.
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Decessit Corellius Rufus et quidem sponte, quod dolorem meum exulcerat.
Corellius Rufus has died and indee of his own accord, which exacerbates my grief.
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est enim luctuosissimum genus mortis, quae non ex natura nec fatalis videtur.
for the most sorrowful type of death is one which is not from nature and does not seem fated.
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nam utcumque in illis qui morbo finiuntur, magnum ex ipsa necessitate solacium est; in iis vero quos accersita mors aufert, hic insanabilis dolor est, quod creduntur potuisse diu vivere.
for in as much as those who are finished off by disease, there is great comfort in the very inevitability; in those indeed whom death having been summoned, grief is incurable, because they are believed to have been able to live longer.
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Corellium quidem summa ratio, quae sapientibus plurimas vivendi causas habentem, optimam conscientiam optimam famam, maximam auctoritatem, praeterea fliam uxorem nepotem sorores, interque tot pignora veros amicos.
indeed the highest reasoning, which for wise people is instead of inevitability, drove Corellius to this plan, although he had very many reasons for living, an excellent conscience, excellent reputation, very great authority, besides a daughter, wife
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sed tam longa, tam iniqua valitudine conflictabatur, ut haec tanta pretia vivendi mortis rationibus vincerentur.
but he was afflicted by such a long, so cruel an illness that such great rewards for living as these were overcome by reasons for death.
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tertio et tricensimo anno, ut ipsum audiebam, pedum dolore correptus est.
in his 33rd year, as I heard from him himself, he was struck by pain in the feet.
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patrius hic illi: nam plerumque morbi quoque per successiones quasdam ut alia traduntur.
he had inherited this from his father for diseases are also mostly handed down, like other things, through certain generations.
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hunc abstinentia sancitate, quoad viridis aetas, vicit et fregit; novissime *** senectute ingravescentem viribus animi sustinebat, *** quidem incredibiles cruciatus et indignissima tormenta pateretur.
for as long as his youth was green (fresh), he overcame this and broke it by abstinence and purity; most recently, as it was growing worse with old age, he was sustaining it by strength of mind, although indeed he was suffering incredible tortures
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iam enim dolor non pedibus solis ut prius insidebat, sed omnia membra peruagabatur.
for the pain began to reside not just in the feet as previously but began to wander to every limb.
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veni ad eum Domitiani temporibus in sububano iacentem.
i came to him in the time of Domitian when he was lying in his suburban villa.
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servi e cubiculo recesserunt (habebat hoc moris, quotiens intrasset fidelior
hi slaves withdrew from the bedroom (he had this of custom, whenever a more trustworthy friend entered); even his wife, although she was most capable of every secret used to go out.
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circumtulit oculos et 'Cur' inquit "me putas hos tantos dolores tam diu sustinere? ut scilicet isti latroni vel uno die supersim.
he looked around and said " why do you think that I am sustaining such great pains as these for such a long time? so that, of coure, I might survive that robber even by one day!"
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dedisses huic animo par corpus, fecisset quod optabat.
if you had given him a body equal to his mind, he would have done what he wished.
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adfuit tamen deus voto, cuius ille vitae sed minora retinacula abrupit.
a god however, was present at the prayer of that man who, fully composed mind, as carefree now and free, being about to die, broke those many but small ties to life.
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increuerat valetudo, quam temperantia mitigare temptavit; perseurantem constantia fugit.
his ill health, which he tried to mitigate by temperence, had increased; although it persevered, he fled from it by means of determination.
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Iam dies alter tertius quartus; abstinebat cibo. Misit ad me uxor eius Hispulla communem ami*** C. Geminium *** tristissimo nuntio, destinasse Corellium mori nec aut suis aut filiae precibus inflecti;
now a 2nd, 3rd, 4th day: he was abstaining from food. His wife Hispulla sent to me a mutual friend Gaius Geminius with the very sad message that Corellius had decided to die and was not being dissuaded by either her own pleas or those of his daughter
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solum superesse me, a quo revocari posset ad vitam.
she said that only I remained by whom he could be recalled to life.
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Cucurri. Perveneram in proximum, *** mihi ab eadem Hispulla Iulius Atticus nuntiat nihil iam ne me quidem impetraturum: tam obstinate magis ac magis unduruisse.
I ran. I had arrived very close, when Ilius Atticus sends by the smae Hispulla, tells me that not even I could now prevail: so obstinatley he had hardened in his resolve more and more, i was told.
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Dixerat sane medico admouenti cibum: Kekpika, quae vox quantum adirationis in animo meo tantum desiderii reliquit.
he had said clearly to the doctor who was moving food towards him, 'i have decided',- an utterance which left me as much admiration in my mind as affection.
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cogito quo amico, qup vir caream. implevit quidem annum septimunm et sexagensimum, quae aetas etiam robustissimis satis longa est; scio.
i contemplate what a friend, what a man i am doing without. he completed his 77th year, which is a good age even for the strongest men and long enough; i know.
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Euasit perpetuam valetudinem; scio. Decessit superstitibus suis, florente re publica, quae illi omnibus carior erat; et hoc scio.
he died with relatives surviving him, with the republic flourishing, which was dearer to him than everything; and this i know.
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ego tamen tamquam et iuvenis et firmissimi mortem doleo, doleo autem )licet me imbellicum putes) meo nomine.
and yet i grieve at his death as i should at the death of a young man in the full vigour of life; i grieve (you may think me weak for doing so) in my own name.
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amisi enim, amisi cvitae meae testem rectorem magistrum. in summa dicam, quod recenti dolore contubernali meo Caluivio dixi: 'Vereor ne neglegentius vivam,"
for i have lost, i have lost, the witness, the guide, and teacher of my life. in short, i will say again what i said to my fellow tent companion, when my grief was fresh, "i am afraid i shall not live so well ordered a life."
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proinde adhibe solacia mihi, non haec: 'senex erat, infirmus erat' (haec enim novi), sed nova aliqua, sed magna, quae audierim numquam, legerim numquam.
send me a word of sympathy but do not say, "he was an old man, or he was infirm." These are great words; send me some words of consolidation, that are strong to ease my trouble, which i have never heard, and i have never read.
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nam quae audivi quae egi sponte succurrunt, sed tanto dolore superantur. Vale
for all that i have heard and read occur to me naturally, but they are powerless in the presence of my excessive sorrow. Goodbye.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Corellius Rufus has died and indee of his own accord, which exacerbates my grief.

Back

Decessit Corellius Rufus et quidem sponte, quod dolorem meum exulcerat.

Card 3

Front

for the most sorrowful type of death is one which is not from nature and does not seem fated.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

for in as much as those who are finished off by disease, there is great comfort in the very inevitability; in those indeed whom death having been summoned, grief is incurable, because they are believed to have been able to live longer.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

indeed the highest reasoning, which for wise people is instead of inevitability, drove Corellius to this plan, although he had very many reasons for living, an excellent conscience, excellent reputation, very great authority, besides a daughter, wife

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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