QUESTIONS ARISING FROM 117th. MEETING – 20/11/20 (the record of earlier meetings can be downloaded from the main Circulus page as can the version of Ciceronis Filius with illustrations added. The illustrated text of Genesis is available on the Genesis page, of Kepler's Somnium on the Somnium page and of Nutting's Ad Alpes on the Ad Alpes page)
Food consumed at our first visit to the Basmati in several Covid-infested months included pānis Persicus (nan), orȳza (rice), cicera arōmatica (chana masala, chickpeas with spices), batātae cum brassicā Pompēiānā (alu gobi, potato with cauliflower), iūs lentium butyrātum (daal makhani) and gallīnācea tandūria. This was accompanied as usual by vīnum rubrum. As per government regulations, the latinbists sat at two separate teabbles, with Keon and Ollie at a third.
We discussed also the recent expulsion of four members from Legco and remarked on the strange fact that Mao himself would probably have been targeted under the National Security Law during his `splittist phase’ after the 1911 revolution, something we had also touched on during the November meeting. He seems to have believed for a time that the long-term interests of China as a whole would best be served if individual provinces were allowed to go their own way for some time. For a detailed account, see Angus W.McDonald’s article `Mao Tse-tung and the Hunan Self-Government Movement, 1920: An Introduction and Five Translations’, The China Quarterly No. 68 (Dec., 1976), pp. 751-777 , which is available at https://www.jstor.org/stable/652585?read-now=1&seq=6#page_scan_tab_contents Amidst miscellaneous linguistic trivia we noted the acronym FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and its new companion. JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Also Tan’s mother’s favourite T-shirt inscription during her career as a German teacher in Australia: Freβt mehr tote Ratten (Plūra rattos mortuos cōnsūme, Eat more dead rats!) and Sam’s current shirt which read `Well, technically, if you want to be a pedant.’
John recalled reading many years ago reading a collection of comments actually used on report cards by jaundiced New York high school teachers. His favourite items were `This term X has reached rock bottom and then kept digging’ and `If this student were any less active he would need watering every day.’.
John also mentioned the ease with which native spoeakers can adopt non-standard phrases if they hear them often enough. He was once conducting an English lesson with an American exchange student assisting him and found himself saying to one of the class `Now open the computer.’ He immediately recognised his own eror and muttered to the American, `If you can’t beat them, join them.’
There was an apparently similar incident mentioned in a lecture in Hong Kong by a leading authority on the English language, David Crystal. On a visit to Egypt he noted the tendency of locals to say `Welcome in Egypt’ rather than `Welcome to Egypt’ but was surprised when he was greeted by the Brtish ambassador with the same non-standard phrase. In this case, however, it’s possible that the ambassador was making a joke rather than an unintentional error.
Also discussed briefly was British drinking culture. John mentioned a silly game played at his college. This involved each student sitting in a chair with a glass of port and saying `Here’s to the health of Cardinal Puff for the first time’, taking a swig of the port and then touching his glass once on reach arm of the chair. He then had to say `Here’s to the health of Cardinal Puff Puff for the second time’, take two more sips, then touch the glass twice on each chair arm. The process was repeated indefinitely, with the `Puffs’ , sips and touches going up by one each time until the player got it wrong, whether through inebriation or simple lapse of concentration. John remembered on one occasion, probably after this or a similar game, having to be seen back to his own room by a Chinese post-graduate who claimed to be a nephew of Chinag Kai Shek.
Pat mentioned another college where the High Table was equipped with a miniature railway that ferried the port and madeira bottles to each diner. An internet search after the meeting revealed that a bar in Prague in the Czech Republic operates a similar system.
We read chapter 31 of Ad Alpēs (see below), noting that the second `a’ in the name Hannibal was apparently short in every case so that the ablative Hannibale had to be stressed on the second syllable (`HanNIbale’)/
One of the stories in the chapter was that of the infant Moses being found by Pharaoh’s daughter floating in a basket at the edge of the Nile – Eugene consulted the Vulgate to confirm that the basket was in the reeds rather than floating freely downstream. The basket in which Romulus and Remus were placed was similarly left near the edge of the Tiber.
The Moses story is not regarded as historical by most scholars today (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses#Historicity.). A similar motif is also found in a 7th century B.C. Assyrian text, supposedly from the autobiography of Sargon, who founded the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia around 2300 B.C. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad): “My mother, the high priestess, conceived; in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me.”
AD ALPES, chapter 31
Cibō et somnō refectī manē abiērunt, ac quārtā ferē hōrā ad flūmen Metaurum With-food and sleep refreshed in-morning they-left and at-fourth about hour to river Metaurus pervēnērunt. Quod cum ponte trānsīrent, Cornēlius: "Ad hoc flūmen," inquit, "commissum arrived which when by-bridge they-were-crossing Cornelius at this river he-said fought was proelium, quod spēs omnēs Hannibalis funditus ēvertit." battle which hopes all of-Hannibal utterly destroyed 5 "Ipsene aderat," inquit Sextus, "cum hīc pugnātum est?" Himself-? He-was-present asked Sextus when here fought it-was "Immō longē aberat," inquit pater, "ac Rōmānī hōc locō congressī sunt cum eius frātre, In-fact far he-was-away said father and Romans in-this place joined battle with his brother Hasdrubale, quī ex Hispāniā cum exercitū subsidiō properābat." Hasdrubal who from Spain with army to-help was-hurrying "Minus igitur mīrandum est," inquit Sextus, "sī Poenī victī sunt. 10 Nam Hannibal, cum Less therefore to-be-wondered-at it-is said Sextus if Carthaginians defeated were for Hannibal when ipse cōram adesset, perrārō superātus esse vidētur. Sed dē hōc proeliō plūra libenter himself in-person was-present very-rarely beaten to-have-been seems but about this battle more gladly audiāmus. Ā prīncipīō exordīre, sī vīs." let-us-hear from beginning start please Tum pater: "Hannibal haud procul ā Venusiā trahēbat bellum, spērāns brevī Then father Hannibal not far from Venusia was-prolonging war hoping soon adfore frātrem; quārē nōndum volēbat dēcertāre cum cōnsule C. Claudiō Nerōne, quī to-be-going-to-be-present brother therefore not-yet he-wanted to-join-battle with consul Gaius Claudius Nero who haud longē 15 castra posuerat not far-off camp had-placed. "Cum alter cōnsul, M. Līvius, adventum Hasdrubalis exspectāret hīs in regiōnibus, per When the-other consul Marcus Liviu s arrival of-Hasdrubal was-waiting-for these in regions through
NOTES  The party would probably have crossed the Metaurus (modern Metauro) by the bridge at Calmazzo (`Ponte di Traiano’), five kilometres above Forum Sempronii (see map, AD ALPES III, p.54), and probably constructed by Trajan in 115. This was extensively restored in later centuries but destroyed in WWII.  Hasdrubal was left in command in Spain when Hannibal left for Italy in 218. In 209 he was defeated by Roman forces under Publius Cornelius Scipio (who was later ot defeat Hannibal himself) but retained most of his army intact and evaded the Romans to cross the Pyrennes to Gaul in winter 208. He waited till spring 207 to cross the Alps, using Hannibal’s route and, unlike him, finding the local tribesmen now co-operative. His letter to his brother, intercepted by the Romans, asked Hannibal to meet him in Umbria. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasdrubal_Barca  Venusia, birthplace of the poet Horace, was on the border between Apulia and Lucania near the site of Hannibal’s vitory at Cannae. Cornelius’s family visited the town in chapter XIV (AD ALPES II: 91).
quās nunc iter facimus, forte equitēs hostium, quī litterās ad Hannibalem dēferēbant, ā 20 which now journey we-make by-chance cavalry of-enemy who letter to Hannibal were-carrying by Rōmānīs sunt interceptī et ad Nerōnem adductī. Romans were intercepted and to Nero brought "Cōnsiliō Poenōrum ex hīs cognitō, Nerō, relictō Q. Catiō lēgātō, quī castrīs With-plan of-Carthaginians from-this learned Nero having-been-left Quintus Catius legate who of-camp praeesset, ipse magnīs itineribus ad collēgam Līvium contendit. Tum, coniunctīs cōpiīs, could-be-in-charge self with-great marches to colleague Livius hurried then having-been-joined forces cōnsulēs Hasdrubālem sē recipere cōnantem consecūtī sunt atque inīquō locō proelium consuls Hasdribal himself to-take-back trying followed and on-unfavourable ground battle committere coēgērunt. 25 to-join compelled "Cum diū atque ācriter dīmicātum esset, Nerō ē dextrō cornū (ubi sēgnius When long and fiercely fighting there-had-been Nero from right wing where more-sluggishly pugnābātur) cohortēs aliquot dētrāxit, quās post aciem circumductās subitō in dextrum fighting-was-going-on cohorts some detached which behind battle-line brought-round suddenly onto right hostium latus immīsit. Tum omnibus ex partibus, ā fronte, ā latere, ā tergō, hostēs trucīdātī of-enemy flank he-launched then all from directions from front from side from-rear enemy slaughtered sunt. 30 were
"Elephantī vērō ā suīs rēctōribus plūrēs quam ā Rōmānīs sunt interfectī. Nam rēctōrēs Elephants indeed by their-own handlers more than by Romans were killed for handlers scalprum cum malleō habēbant. Id, cum saevīre bēstiae ac ruere in suōs coeperant, rēctor inter chisel with hammer had this when to-go-mad beasts and rush at wn-lines had-begun handler between aurēs positum, in articulō quō coniungitur capitī 35 cervīx, quam maximā poterat vī adigēbat. [their]ears placed in joint by-which is-joined to-head neck which with-greatest he-could force drove-home Quō vulnere elephantī statim concidērunt. From-which injury elephants at-once collapsed "Interim Hasdrubal officiō bonī imperātōris fungēbātur. Ille pugnantēs hortandō Meanwhile Hasdrubal the-duty of-good commander kept-carrying-out he those-fighting by-urging-on sustinuit, ille fessōs nunc precandō nunc castīgandō accendit, ille fugientēs revocāvit he-supported he those-tired now by-beseeching now by-scolding fired-up he those-fleeing called-back omissamque pugnam aliquot locīs restituit. 40 and-given-up battle some in-places he-revived "Postrēmō, cum haud dubia victōria Rōmānōrum esset, nē superstes esset exercituī Finally when not in-doubt victory of-Romans was so-not survivor he-should-be of-army tantō, in hostēs concitātō equō sē immīsit. Ibi, ut patre Hamilcare et Hannibale frātre dignum so-great into enemy spurred-on with-horse himself he-hurled there as of-father Hamilcar and Hannibal father worthy erat, pugnāns cecidit." of fighting he-fell 45 "Dēnuō quaerō," inquit Cornēlia, "cūr optimī et fortissimī semper exitūs tam miserōs Again I-ask said Cornelia why best and bravest always deaths so wretched inveniant." meet "Eratne autem Hasdrubal vir vērē optimus?" inquit Sextus. "Semper audīvī Poenōs Was-? however Hasdrubal man realy best asked Sextus often I-have-heard Carthaginians paene omnēs perfidōs et impiōs fuisse." Almost all treacherous and wicked to-have-been "Sīc memoriae trāditum est," inquit pater. "Quīn etiam 50 hodiē quoque 'Pūnica fidēs' Thus to-memory handed-down it-has-been said father in fact today also Punic faith prō 'perfidia' saepe dīcitur. Sed maiōrēs nostrī, virī reī pūblicae amantissimī, glōriam cīvitātis for treachery often is-said but ancestors our men to-republic most-devoted glory of-state sē auctūrōs fortasse putābant, sī hostēs quam maximē īnfāmēs fēcissent. themselves going-to-increase perhaps thought if enemies as much-as-possible notorious they-had-made "Quārē operae pretium est animadvertere scrīptōris Līvī 55 verba repugnantia; quī, etsī Therefore worthwhile it-is to-notice of-writer Livy words to-the-contrary he although inhūmānam crūdēlitātem in Hannibale fuisse dīcit, commemorat tamen post proelium ad inhuman cruelty in Hannibal to-have-been relates however after battle at lacum Trasumēnum commissum Poenum fūneris causā corpus Flaminī cōnsulis magnā Lake Trasimene fought the-Carthaginian of-funeral for-sake-of body of-Flaminius consul great dīligentiā quaesīvisse; quod nōn fēcisset profectō, sī mōnstrum hominis fuisset." with-care to-have-searched-for which not he-would-have-done of-course if monster of-a-man he-had-been
NOTE  The Battle of Trasimene (Lago Trasimeno on the Tuscany/Umbria border), in which Flaminius’s army was ambushed on the northern shore of the lake, was fought around 21 June 207.
60 "Quid agēbat Hannibal," inquit Sextus, "dum fortūna ita frātrem dēserit?" What was-doing Hannibal asked Sextus while fortune thus brother deserted "Castrīs sē tenēbat," inquit pater, "nec suspicātus est quantum malī suīs rēbus accidisset, In-camp self was-keeping said father nor did he suspect how-much of-evil to-own situation had-occured priusquam Nerō victor rediit. Tum caput Hasdrubalis, quod cōnsul magnā cūrā servātum before Nero victorious returned then head of-Hasdrubal which consul with-great care saved 65 attulerat, ante statiōnēs hostium prōiectum est. Quō signō Hannibal cognōvit sē omnia had-brought before guard-posts of-enemy thrown was with-which sign Hannnibal realised self all perdidisse." to-have-lost "Vah!" inquit Cornēlia horrēscēns; "mihi quidem in cōnsule Rōmānō inhūmāna Waa said Cornelia shuddering to-me indeed in consul Roman inhuman crūdēlitās fuisse vidētur." cruelty to-have-been seems "Dē dēspērātiōne Hannibalis," inquit Pūblius, "cum 70 cognōvisset frātrem occīsum About desperation of-Hannibal said Publius when he-had-learned brother kiled esse, dīcit poēta Horātius; cuius verba, sī poterō, memoriā referam: to-have-been says poet Horace whose words if I-can from-memory I-will-deliver
'Carthāginī iam nōn ego nūntiōs To-Carthage now not I messages Mittam superbōs. Occidit, occidit Will-send proud has-died has-dies Spēs omnis et fortūna nostrī Hope all and fortune of-our Nōminis, Hasdrubale interēmptō » 75 Name with-Hasdrubal done-away-with
"Bellumne tōtum ita ad fīnem adductum est?" inquit Sextus. War-? whole thus to end brought was said Sextus
NOTES  Literally `If I will have been able’.  Odes IV:4, 69-72. The stanza is in Horace’s favourite Alcaic pattern, consisting of two Alcaic hendecasyllables (ᵒ - ᵕ - - - ᵕ ᵕ - ᵕ-), an iambic dimeter plus one syllable ( ᵒ - ᵕ - ᵒ - ᵕ - -) and an Alcaic decasyllable (- ᵕ ᵕ - ᵕ ᵕ - ᵕ - -).
"Nūllō modō," inquit pater. "Sed Hannibal in extrēmās Italiae partēs sē recipere coāctus, In-no way said father but Hannibal into furthest of-Italy parts self to-take-back forced postrēmō in Āfricam 80 revocātus est, ut patriam dēfenderet. Rōmānī enim iam eō cōpiās finally to Africa recalled was so-that fatherland he-could-defend Romans for already to-there forces trānsvēxerant." had-brought-across Cum haec dicta essent, ad locum amoenum perventum est, ubi viātōrēs ex raedīs When these-things said had-been to place attractive reached it-was where travellers from wagons dēscendērunt, ac, per herbam dispositī, cēpērunt cibum, cum interim equī in umbrā descended and over grass scattered took food while meanwhile horses in shade reficiēbantur. Tum 85 iterum profectī hōrā nōnā Fānum Fortūnae pervēnērunt, quō in were-being-refreshed then again setting-out at-hour ninth Shrine of-Fortune reached which in oppidō hanc noctem agere cōnstituerant. town this night to-spend had-decided Mox līberī, quī cupidē cēnae tempus exspectābant, ad Annam accessērunt, quae Lūcium Soon children who eagerly of-dinner time were-expecting to Anna came-up who Lucius humī lūdentem servābat ; et Cornēlia: "Adeō ēsurīmus," inquit, "ut quō modo tempus terātur on-ground playing was-looking-after and Cornelia so we-are-hungry said that in-what way time might-be-passed 90 excōgītare nōn possīmus. Nōnne tū nōs adiuvāre potes?" to-think not we-are-able not-? You us to-help you-are-able Tum illa: "Meministisne," inquit, "mē quondam vōbīs multa nārrāre quōdam dē Moyse, Then she do-you-remember asked me once to-you many-things to-tell a-certaihn about Moses quī gentem meam servitūte lībērāvit et ex Aegyptō ēdūxit in fīnēs maiōribus nostrīs ā deō who nation my from-slavery freed and from Egypt led-out into territory for-ancestors our by god dēstinātōs?" 95 destined "Haec omnia memoriā tenēmus," inquit Sextus. "Perge porrō dīcere." These-things all in-memory we-hold said Sextus continue further to-say
NOTES  Corresponding roughly to the hour from 3.00 to 4.00 p.m.  Fanum Fortunae (Fano) stands at the mouth of the Metaurus, where the Via Flaminia met the Adriatic coast. The upper storey of the Arch of Augustus (2 A.D.) was destroyed during a siege in 1463 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fano). The site of the Battle of the Metaurus, fought on 22 June 207, is unknown but was probably not far inland. Bernard Henderson’s extensive discussion, published in 1898, is reproduced at http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Journals/EHR/13/Metaurus*.html
"Ex eō tempore," inquit Anna, "quō Moysēs nātus est, rēx eārum regiōnum ēdictum From that time said Anna at-which Moses was born king of-those regions edict prōposuerat ut puerī īnfantēs gentis nostrae occīderentur omnēs. Nam in diēs crēscēbat had-issued that boys infant of-nation our should-be-killed all for day-by-day was-growing multitūdō, 100 ac metuēbat rēx nē quandō populus, quem servitūtē premēbat, sēditiōnem throng and was-afraid king lest at-some-time people whom with-slavery he-was-oppressing revolt commovēret et summā rērum potīrētur. might-launch and control of affairs might-gain "Moysem autem īnfantem māter domī trēs mēnsēs occultāvit. Tum alveō factō Moses however infant mother at-homr three months hid then with-basket made imposuit puerum, atque inter harundinēs prope flūminis rīpam abscondit. Interim soror puerī placed-in boy and among reeds near of-river bank hid menwhile sister of-boy haud 105 procul ēventum exspectābat. not far result was-waiting-for "Paulō post ad lavandum rēgis fīlia flūmen adiit; dumque ancillae in rīpā vagantur, a-little lated for washing of-king daughter river came-to and-while maids in bank are-wandering alveum animadvertit. Quō apertō, rēgia virgō, cum īnfantem flentem vīdisset, misericordiā basket noticed with-which opened royal maiden when infant crying sh-had-seen by-pity mōta: 'Hic est,' inquit, 'ūnus dē īnfantibus proscrīptīs.' 110 moved this is said one from infants condemned-to-die "Tum subitō soror praestō: 'Vīsne mē vocāre mulierem,’ inquit, 'quae īnfantem nūtrīre Then suddenly sister stepping-up do-you-want me to-call woman she-says who infant nurse possit?' could
NOTES  Literally `sum (or top) of things. alveus (-ī m) can mean a basket, tray, hollow continer or channel.  The verb prōscrībō is best-known from the process of listing political opponents who could be freely killed and their property confiscated. This was notoriously done by the dictator Sulla in 82/81 B.C.and also by the triumvirs Octavian (Augustus), Mark Anthony and Lepidus in 43 B.C. before they left Rome in pursuit of the conspirators who had killed Julius Caesar. The Moses story is generally seen as a myth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses#Historicity.) A similar motif is also found in a 7th century B.C. Assyrian text, supposedly from the autobiography of Sargon, who founded the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia around 2300 B.C. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad): My mother, the high priestess, conceived; in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. praestō is here an adverb (at hand, stepping out) but the same word also functions as a verb (praestāre, praestitī, praestitum) meaning `surpass, stand out, fulfil, show). It survives in English in the magician’s `Hey presto!’ as he pulls the rabbit out of a hat.
'Ī, eam arcesse,' inquit illa. Puella igitur laeta abiit, suamque statim mātrem vocāvit. Go her fetch said she girl there happy went-away and-her at-once mother called "Hōc modō Moysēs servātus est; quem, cum iam iuvenis esset, fīlia rēgis in locum In-this way Moses saved was him when now young-man he-was daughter of-king in place fīliī adoptāvit." of-son adopted "Haec est fābula lepidissima," inquit Cornēlia. 115 This is story very-delightful sadi Cornelia At Sextus: "Tuīs verbīs," inquit, "dē cāsū Rōmulī et Remī admoneor, quī quoque in And Sextus by-your words said of case of-Romulus and Remus I-am-reminded who also in alveō expositī sunt. Sed mīror quam mox edāmus." Tum post sē respiciēns: "Nōnne basket exposed were but I-wonder how soon we-are-eating then behind self looking-back not-? Onēsimum iam appropinquantem videō? Is certē est. Eāmus." Quō dictō, celeriter līberī Onesimus now approaching I-see him certainly it-is let’s-go with-which said quickly children abiērunt. 120 left