QUESTIONS ARISING FROM 137th. MEETING – 30/9/22 (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 the Basmati included pānis Persicus (naan) whether simplex (plain) , cum āliō (with garlic) or cum caepā viridī (with green onion), orȳza (rice), spināchia cum caseō(palak paneer, spinach with cheese), cicera arōmatica (chana masala, spiced chickpeas), ocrum arōmaticum (bhindi masala, spiced okra), melongēna contūsa (baigan bharta, mashed aubergine) batātae cum brassicā Pompēiānā (alu gobi, potato with cauliflower), iūs lentium butyrātum (dal makhani, lentil soup with butter), carō ruber (rogan josh, Kashmir-style lamb curry) carnēsassae mixtae (mixed grill), būbula ācerrima (beef vindaloo, gallīnācea cum āliō (garlic chicken) and caseus fervēns (sizzling paneer). This was washed down with vīnum rubrum, oxygalactīna (lassi) and spūmāns ē limoncellō (lime soda).
The translation for `lime soda’ is not very satisfactory and snappier alternatives would be welcome. For `soda’ Traupman (Conversational Latin) offers aqua Selterāna from the `Seltzer water,’ a common American term for a carbonated drink, whilst Morgan-Owens has mulsa spūmāns from the adjective mulsus (mixed with honey), and the verb spūmō (foam), Robert Maier’s LateinDeutsch Visuelles Wörterbuch prefers aqua nitrāta. For `lime’, Maier uses limoncellum without explaining its origin., whilst Morgan-Owens prefers citreum viride (`green citron’, `green citrus fruit’). Latin citreum may originally have referred only to the citron but was later extended to all the fruits in the citrus genus, of which the citron may have been the common ancestor (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citron) The English words `lime’ and `lemon’ derive from Persian limun, which might in turn have derived from Malay limao.
We read chapters 24-28 in Book II of Eutropius Brevarium II, and chapter I in Book III, which cover the period 251-241 BC, viz. the last ten years of the 1st Punic War. The account in II: 27 of the peace settlement includes the Roman decision that ransoms for Carthaginian prisoners who had been sold to private citizens should be paid `from the treasury rather than by the Carthaginians’ (ex fiscō magis quam ā Carthāginiēnsibus solverētur). When preparing the text two years ago, John had assumed that this meant the cost would be borne by the Carthaginian treasury rather than individual Carthaginians (presumably relatives of the prisoners) but when we were reading, he sugested, without looking at his own interlinear translation, that it was the Roman treasury that was to foot the bill because, otherwise, one might have expected something like prīvātīs Carthāginiēnsibus. On reflection, however, it is highly unlikely that the Romans as victors would have acted so magnanimously so it must have been the Carthaginian treasury that had to pay. This interpretation is accepted by Jason Wickham in his University of Liverpool Ph.D. thesis, `The enslavement of captives by the Romans to 146 B.C.’, pp.126-7, available at https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/17893/1/WickhamJ_May2014_17893.pdf
`Elephants were seen in Italy, for the first time, in the war with King Pyrrhus, in the year of the City 472 [i.e.280 BC]; they were called "Lucanian oxen," because they were first seen in Lucania. Seven years after this period, they appeared at Rome in a triumph. In the year 502 a great number of them were brought to Rome, which had been taken by the pontiff Metellus, in his victory gained in Sicily over the Carthaginians; they were one hundred and forty-two in number, or, as some say, one hundred and forty, and were conveyed to our shores upon rafts, which were constructed on rows of hogsheads joined together. Verrius informs us, that they fought in the Circus, and that they were slain with javelins, for want of some better method of disposing of them; as the people neither liked to keep them nor yet to give them to the kings. L. Piso tells us only that they were brought into the Circus; and for the purpose of increasing the feeling of contempt towards them, they were driven all round the area of that place by workmen, who had nothing but spears blunted at the point. The authors who are of opinion that they were not killed, do not, however, inform us how they were afterwards disposed of.’
We also briefly discussed the story of Regulus, a Roman general captured by the Carthaginians, returning to Rome with the terms offered by Carthage for a peace agreement and then voluntarily going back to Africa to face execution after successfully arguing against acceptance of them. This story, though reported by Eutropius and many other Roman writers, is now generally regarded as a myth, as Gaius Stern explains in his article at https://www.academia.edu/25815545/The_Tortured_Tale_of_Marcus_Atilius_Regulus_the_Roman_Hero_that_Never_Was
We commented on the cumbersome Roman system of electing two chief executives – the consuls – each year., This arrangement was intended as a bulwark against tyranny but could cause problems if the two men were of different minds, This problem was to a certain extent alleviated by the institution of the dictatorship, under which, in an emergency situation, one man was given sole charge of the state for six months. Fabius Cunctator held this office in 217 during the struggle against Hannibal but in 216 power reverted to two consuls, who agreed to each take command of the army on alternate days. The more impetuous of the two risked a full-scale battle at Cannae, which resulted in a catastrophic Roman defeat.
Someone suggested that the Venetians had adopted a partly similar system to the Roman consulship, as their elected doge (a title derived from dux ducis, `leader’) had sole charge of the state but served for only one year. However, later investigation showed that, whilst the doge was indeed elected from among Venice’s leading families, he retained his office for life. For details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doge_of_Venice
Jeff, who was attending the meeting for the first time, suggested that commentaries on ancient Chinese texts by gweilo authors were often better than those by Chinese ones as the former carried less ideological baggage. He also wondered whether the imprecision of the Chinese language, including, for example, lack of a clear subject-object distinction, had hindered development of China relative to the West. John was sceptical about the whole Sapir-Whorf approach – the argument that people’s understanding of reality differed radically because of differences in language and therefore that it was impossible to fully translate ideas from one language into another. He noted, though, that a number of people had thought the alleged lack of clear counter-factual conditionals in Chinese might have retarded scientific progress.
Jeff also noted that Taiwan, which used Mandarin as its official language and, like Hong Kong, wrote in traditional Chinese characters should really be regarded as the reservoir or guardian of authentic, traditional Chinese culture,
Zhang Wei reflected on the sheer difficulty of learning to read Chinese and how his own daughters, one of whom had just become a lecturer in law in a US university preferred to read English even though they had been brought up in Hong Kong and thought of themselves as Cantonese-speaking Hongkongers.
Zhang Wei himself had worked as a chemicals salesman in USA, making the rounds of different factories. He had been hampered initially by a lack of full fluency in English. He had originally expected the American company he joined to send him to their Chinese branch and looked forward to this, especially as he was suffering from a certain amount of culture shock in America. However, the company had then pulled out of China and asked him to remain in the USA.
Hillary explained that she had been messed around by both HKEAA and her own school. She had only recently discovered that exams she thought were scheduled for May next year were actually next month and that she would have to go to Malaysia to take them. She was doing A-levels as well as other exams on Greek and Latin classics in translation.
We considered how Russia, having totally destroyed its relations with the West, was now faced with the prospect of becoming China’s junior partner, a position it was likely to find very uncomfortable over the long term. Reference was also made to the Sino-Russian split in the 1960s which resulted in Russian teachers in China being ordered to switch en masse to teaching English,
Still on the language front, Tanya was working very hard on the Duolingo language learning platform, tackling Latin, Korean, Chinese, Finnish and Russian simultaneously.
John mentioned an over-the-top Korean TV drama series which his family had watched earlier in the year but whose title he had forgotten. The hero and heroine died at the end but were seen walking together in Heaven. The principal villains were a corrupt businessman and his scheming wife, a concert singer who also ran a music school. The businessman died when he blew up a building which played a central part in the drama and which he had himself built.
The enduring popularity of K-dramas in Hong Kong must owe something to their corresponding with local taste but John remembered Keon suggesting some time back that a key factor was that local TV stations could buy them quite cheaply.
John gave some details of his `eventful’ summer travels. He and his family made it to the UK but then had to abort a plan to visit the Netherlands and Nepal as he came down with Covid and a couple of other ailments and ended up spending six days in a London hospital, an experience made even less cheerful by the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Lilly was rejoining us again after a semester in Norway. She had originally wanted to go to Denmark to study the social welfare system there but ended up settling for another part of Scandinavia. She had put up with the extreme cold to view the Northern Lights. On her way back to Hong Kong she had visited a number of other European countries including Italy. At Pompeii she had gone horse-riding on the slopes of Vesuvius and also been told by a guide that the ubiquitous phalluses carved into the roads might have been meant simply as good luck charms rather than, as is commonly believed, marking the route to the town’s brothels
Lily also referred to playing kottabos, a game popular at Greek and Etruscan drinking parties (symposia), in which people were required to knock over an object by hurling wine lees (sediment) at it. The game was very popular in the 6th and 5th centuries BC but appeared to have gone out of fashion by the Hellenistic Period (323 – 31 BC). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kottabos for full details.
This prompted John to recall, `Cardinal Puff’, a very silly game played by students when he was an undergraduate in 1967-72 and apparently also popular at one time in the British Army. The exact rules seemed to differ between settings, but the competitor (or victim!) was required to take a mouthful of an alcoholic drink – beer with the army and port (fortified wine) in John’s College - after saying `Here’s to the health of Cardinal Puff for the first time’. The glass was then tapped against some part of the body or the arm of a chair. You then had to say `Here’s to the health of Cardinal Puff Puff for the second time’, and tap the glass twice. This continued to the third and subsequent rounds until the increasingly intoxicated player failed to say the words or perform the actions correctly. It was probably after playing this game that John had to be escorted back to his college room by a Chinese postgraduate student who claimed to be a nephew of Chiang Kai Shek.
We were then further reminded that the Circulus has yet to hold a toga party – with or without party games – and Tanya offered Kam Sheung road as a possible venue.
24] L. Caeciliō Metellō C. Fūriō Placidō cōnsulibus Metellus in Siciliā Āfrōrum ducem With Lucius Caecilius Metellus Gaius Furius Placidus consuls Metellus in Sicily of-Africans general cum centum trīgintā elephantīs et magnīs cōpiīs venientem superāvit, vīgintī mīlia hostium hundred thirty elephants and great forces coming defeated twenty thousand of-enemy cecīdit, sex et vīgintī elephantōs cēpit, reliquōs errantēs per Numidās, quōs in auxilium slew and twenty elephants captured remainder wandering through Numidians who for assistance habēbat, collēgit et Rōmam dēdūxit ingentī pompā, cum CXXX elephantōrum numerus omnia he-had he-collected and to-Rome brought in-huge procession with 130 of-elephants number all itinera complēret. Post haec mala Carthāginiēnsēs Rēgulum ducem, quem cēperant, routes was-filling after these troubles Carthaginians Regulus general whom they-had-captured petīvērunt, ut Rōmam proficīscerētur et pācem ā Rōmānīs obtinēret ac permūtātiōnem asked that to-Rome he-should set-off and peace from Romans obtain and exchange captīvōrum faceret. of-captives make
 Ille Rōmam cum vēnisset, inductus in senātum nihil quasi Rōmānus ēgit, dīxitque sē ex He to-Rome when he-had-come brought into senate nothing as-if Roman he-did and-said self from illā diē, quā in potestātem Āfrōrum vēnisset, Rōmānum esse dēsīsse. Itaque et uxōrem ā that day on-which into power of-Africans he-had-come Rpman to-be to-have-ceased and-so both wife from complexū remōvit et senātuī suāsit, nē pāx cum Poenīs fieret; illōs enim frāctōs tot embrace he-removed and on-senate urged that-not peace with Carthaginians be-made them for broken so-many cāsibus spem nūllam habēre; sē tantī nōn esse, ut tot mīlia captīvōrum propter by-disasters hope no to-have himself of-so-much-value not to-be that so-many thousands of-captives because-of ūnum sē et senem et paucōs, quī ex Rōmānīs captī fuerant, redderentur. Itaque obtinuit. one-man himself and old and the-few who out-of Romans captured had-been should-be-returned and-so he got-his-way Nam Āfrōs pācem petentēs nūllus admīsit. Ipse Carthāginem rediit, offerentibusque Rōmānīs, For Adricans peace seeking no—one received he-himself to-Carthage returned and-to-offering Romans ut eum Rōmae tenērent, negāvit sē in eā urbe mānsūrum, in quā, postquam Āfrīs that him in-Rome they-keep he-denied himself in that city going-to-remain in which after to-Africans servierat, dignitātem honestī cīvis habēre nōn posset. Regressus igitur ad Āfricam omnibus had-been-a-slave dignity of-respectable citizen to-have not he-was-able returning therefore to Africa with-all suppliciīs extīnctus est. tortures killed he-was
 P. Claudiō Pulchrō L. Iūniō cōnsulibus Claudius contrā auspicia pugnāvit et ā With-Publius Claudius Pulcher Lucius Iunius consuls Claudius against auspices fought and by Carthāginiēnsibus victus est. Nam ex ducentīs et vīgintī nāvibus cum trīgintā fugit, nōnāgintā Carthaginians defeated was for out-of 200 and 20 ships with 30 he-fled ninety cum pugnātōribus captae sunt, dēmersae cēterae. Alius quoque cōnsul naufragiō classem with marines captured were sunk the-rest other also consul in-ship-wreck fleet āmīsit, exercitum tamen salvum habuit, quia vīcīna lītora erant. lost army however safe he-had because nearby shores were
NOTES  Metellus and Pacilus (not Placidus) were consuls in 251. Metellus, with his Numidian allies, killed or captured Carthage’s entire stock of war elephants.  In fact Regulus probably died shortly after his capture, either from natural causes or more likely by crucifixion and the story of his self-sacrifice may have been fabricated in response to the possibly true story of his widow torturing Carthaginian prisoners in Rome (Bird). See also Gaius Stern’s discussion.  The story of Claudius Pulcher in 249 ordering the sacred chickens thrown into the sea after they provided an unfavourable omen by refusing to eat is probably apocryphal as, like the story of Regulus’s voluntary return to death in Carthage, it is not in Polybius’s account. Pulcher was defeated whilst attacking the town of Drepana (modern Trapani) at the NW corner of Sicily. Iunius Pullus, whose name means `chicken’, subsequently lost his remaining ships near Cape Pachynus (Passero) in the SE of the island but then marched back across the island to seize the town of Eryx (modern Erice) near Drepana. He is said by Cicero to have committed suicide rather than return to face disgrace as Claudius did but he may actually have been captured by the Carthaginians (see notes on Ad Alpes, chap IV).
 C. Lutātiō Catulō A. Postumiō Albīnō cōnsulibus, annō bellī Pūnicī vīcēsimō et tertiō With Gaius Lutatius Catulus Aulus Postumius Albinus consuls in-year of-war Punic tweny and third Catulō bellum contrā Āfrōs commissum est. Profectus est cum trecentīs nāvibus in Siciliam; to-Catulus war against Africans entrusted was he set out with three-hundred ships for Sicily Āfrī contrā ipsum quadringentās parāvērunt. Numquam in marī tantīs cōpiīs pugnātum est. Africans against him four-hundred prepared never at sea with-such-great forces fighting has-been Lutātius Catulus nāvem aeger ascendit; vulnerātus enim in pugnā superiōre fuerat. Contrā Lutatius Catulus ship while-sick boarded wounded for in fight earlier he-had-been against Lilybaeum, cīvitātem Siciliae, pugnātum est ingentī virtūte Rōmānōrum. Nam LXIĪĪ Lilybaeum city of-Sicily fought it-was with huge courage of-Romans for 63 Carthāginiēnsium nāvēs captae sunt, CXXV dēmersae, XXXĪĪ mīlia hostium capta, XIIĪ mīlia of-Carthaginians ships captured were 125 sunk 32 thousands of-enemy captured 13 thousand occīsa, īnfīnītum aurī, argentī, praedae in potestātem Rōmānōrum redāctum. Ex classe killed vast-amount of-gold of-silver of-loot into power of-Romans brought from fleet Rōmānā XIĪ nāvēs dēmersae. Pugnātum est VĪ Īdūs Mārtiās. Statim pācem Roman 12 ships sunk Fought it-was 6[days-before] Ides of-March at-once peace Carthāginiēnsēs petīvērunt tribūtaque est hīs pāx. Captīvī Rōmānōrum, quī tenēbantur ā Carthaginians sought and-granted was to-them peace prisoners Roman who were-held by Carthāginiēnsibus, redditī sunt. Etiam Carthāginiēnsēs petīvērunt, ut redimī eōs captīvōs Carthaginians returned were also Carthaginians sought that to-be-ransomed those prisoners licēret, quōs ex Āfrīs Rōmānī tenēbant. Senātus iussit sine pretiō eōs darī, quī in it-be-allowed whom from Africans Romans were-holding senate ordered without payment those to-be-given who in pūblicā cūstōdiā essent; quī autem ā prīvātīs tenērentur, ut pretiō dominīs redditō public custody were those-who however by private-individuals were-held that with-payment to-masters given Carthāginem redīrent atque id pretium ex fiscō magis quam ā Carthāginiēnsibus solverētur. to-Carthage should-return and that cost from treasury rather than from individual-Carthaginians be-paid
 Q. Lutātius A. Mānlius cōnsulēs creātī bellum Faliscīs intulērunt, quae cīvitās Ītaliae Quintus Lutatius Aulus Manlius consuls elected war on-Falisci made which state of-Italy opulenta quondam fuit. Quod ambō cōnsulēs intrā sex diēs, quam vēnerant, trānsēgērunt rich once was. which both consuls within six days that they-had-come completed XV mīlibus hostium caesīs, cēterīs pāce concessā, agrō tamen ex medietāte sublātō. With-15 thousands of-enemy killed to-rest peace conceded with-territory however by half removed
NOTES  Lilybaeum (modern Marsala), south of Drepana at the NW corner of Sicily, was the Carthaginians’ key stronghold on the island and besieged by the Romans from 250 onwards (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Lilybaeum_(250%E2%80%93241_BC)  i.e. on 10 March 241. Catulus (`puppy’) and Postumius had been consuls in 242, when the Romans constructed a new fleet paid for by contributions from individual senators. The battle was fought off the Aegates Island, just west of Lilybaeum, where the Carthaginian fleet bringing supplies and reinforcements for the town was intercepted. Eutropius’s figures for ship losses etc. are too high but the defeat was decisive. The peace terms were more lenient than demanded by Regulus in 256 but included Carthaginian withdrawal from Sicily and payment of an indemnity equivalent to 82,000 kilos of silver.  Literally `of the Romans’ (i.e from among the Romans)  The Falisci’s capital, Faleria, about 30 miles north-east of Rome was destroyed after the revolt in 241 and the inhabitants forcibly moved to the new settlement of Falerii Novi on the plain below. The modern town of Civita Castellana stands on the original, hilltop site and the Roman site is now abandoned but notable for its well-preserved walls. See map on pg.15 above and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falerii
BOOK III  Fīnītō igitur Pūnicō bellō, quod per XXIĪĪ annōs tractum est, Rōmānī iam clārissimā Having-been-finished therefore Punic war which through 23 years extended was Romans now by-most-conspicuous glōriā nōtī lēgātōs ad Ptolomaeum, Aegyptī rēgem, mīsērunt auxilia prōmittentēs, quia rēx glory known envoys to Ptolemy of-Egypt king sent help promising because king Syriae Antiochus bellum eī intulerat. Ille grātiās Rōmānīs ēgit, auxilia ā Rōmānīs nōn accēpit. of-Syria Antiochus war on-him had-launched he thanks to-Romans gave help from Romans not accepted
Iam enim fuerat pugna trānsācta. Eōdem tempore potentissimus rēx Siciliae Hierō Rōmam Already for had-been struggle concluded at-same time most-powerful king of-Sicily Hiero to-Rome vēnit ad lūdōs spectandōs et ducenta mīlia modiōrum trīticī populō dōnum exhibuit. came for games being-watched and two-hundred thousands pecks of-wheat to-people as-gift provided
NOTES  The Third Syrian War (246-241), also known as the Laodicean War, was actually fought between Ptolemy III and Antiochus II’s son, Seleucus II. Backed by his mother, Laodice, Seleucus was proclaimed king on his father’s death despite the counter-claim by Antiochus’s second wife, Berenice, Ptolemy’s sister, that Antiochus had on his deathbed named her own five-year old son as heir. Ptolemy began the war after Laodice’s supporters had killed Berenice’s son and he was able to gain control of the Syrian coast as far as Seleucia Pieria on the Orontes river, which is just inside modern Turkey, The Ptolemaic and Seleucid dynasties had been founded by generals of Alexander the Great who divided his empire between them. See also https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/syrian-war-3/  A peck is about 8 litres.  Hiero, who ruled the south-east corner of the island from Syracuse, was a staunch Roman ally from 263 until his death in 215.