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Latin Reading II. Cicero, Epistle 05

In this lesson, we read a fifth letter written by Cicero to his wife Terentia.  We have here a fascinating look into the personal relationship between good Cicero and Julius Caesar, the greatest of all Romans.  

Latin Text

M.T.C. Terentiae S.P.D. Si vales, bene est: valeo.  Redditae mihi jam tandem sunt a Caesare literae satis liberales, & ipse opinione celerius venturus esse dicitur.  Cui utrum obviam procedam, an hic eum expectem, cum constituero, faciam te certiorem.  Tabellarios mihi velim quamprimum remittas.  Valetudinem tuam cura diligenter.  Vale.   Prid.  Cal. Sextilis.

Exposition

The following notes are provided to guide you through the translation of this reading.  If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Michael.

1.  SALUTATION:  The salutation of this epistle is exactly the same as the last.

2.  Si vales, bene est: valeo.

Exactly the same as the last epistle.  

3.  Redditae mihi jam tandem sunt a Caesare literae satis liberales,

  • Redditae: participle, perfect, passive, plural, nominative:  “delivered”
  • mihi:  pronoun, masculine, singular, dative:  “to me”
  • jam:  adverb: “now”
  • tandem:  adverb: “at last”
  • sunt: verb, present, active, indicative, 3rd person, plural:  “are”
  • a: preposition: “from”
  • Caesare:  substantive noun, masculine, singular, ablative:  “Caesar”
  • literae:  substantive noun, feminine, plural, nominative:  “[the] letters”
  • satis:  adverb: “enough”
  • liberales:  adjective noun, feminine, plural, nominative:  “liberal”

4.  …& ipse opinione celerius venturus esse dicitur.

  • &:  conjunction, “and”
  • ipse:   pronoun, masculine, singular, nominative:  “he himself”
  • opinione:  substantive noun, feminine, singular, ablative:  “than [he was] in [my] opinion”
  • celerius: comparative adverb: “more quickly”
  • venturus: participle, future, active, singular, nominative:  “about to come”
  • esse: verb, present, active, infinitive:  “to be”
  • dicitur: verb, present, passive, indicative, 3rd person, singular: “is said”

5.  Cui utrum obviam procedam, an hic eum expectem,

  • Cui:  relative pronoun, masculine, singular, dative:  “for whom”
  • utrum…an:  conjunctions: “whether…or”
  • obviam: adverb, “in the way”
  • procedam:  verb, present, active, potential, 1st person, singular: “I shall go forth”
  • hic:  adverb: “here”
  • eum:  pronoun, masculine, singular, accusative:  “him”
  • expectem:  verb, present, active, potential, 1st person, singular: “I should expect”

6.  …cum constituero, faciam te certiorem.

  • cum: conjunction: “when”
  • constituero: verb, future, active, subjunctive, 1st person, singular: “I shall have decided”
  • faciam: verb, future, active, indicative, 1st person, singular: “I shall make”
  • te:   pronoun, feminine, singular, accusative:  “you”
  • certiorem: comp. adjective noun, feminine, singular, accusative:  “more certain”

7.  Tabellarios mihi velim quamprimum remittas.

  • Tabellarios:  substantive noun, masculine, plural, accusative: “[your] messengers”
  • mihi: pronoun, masculine, singular, dative:  “to me”
  • velim:  verb, present, active, subjunctive, singular, 1st person: “I should wish”
  • quamprimum:  adverb, “as soon as possible”
  • remittas: verb, present, active, subjunctive, 2nd person, singular: “you should send back”

8.  Valetudinem tuam cura diligenter. Vale.

  • Valetudinem: substantive noun, feminine, singular, accusative:  “health” 
  • tuam:  pronoun, feminine, singular, accusative:  “your”
  • cura:  verb, present, active, imperative, singular, 2nd person: “take care of”
  • diligenter: adverb: “diligently”
  • Vale:  verb, present, active, imperative, singular, 2nd person:  “fare well”

9.  prid.  Cal. Sextilis.

  • prid: abbreviation of pridie
  • Pridie: adverb: “day before”
  • Cal.:  abbreviation of Calendas
  • Calendas: substantive noun, feminine, singular, accusative:  “the first day”Sextilis:  substantive noun, masculine, singular, genitive:  “of August”

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