Erucius: the gens name of a plebeian consular family; both father, the orator Marcus Erucius Clarus (consul suffectus 117), and son, Sextus Erucius Clarus (consul 146), were friends of Pliny.
lego, -ere, legi, lectum
read; select; the subject is Saturninus. Consider the tense.
esse: understand epistulas as the subject.
Plautus, -i m.
Titus Maccius Plautus ("Flatfoot"), the Roman comic playwright (circa 254-184 BCE), adapted Greek New Comedy plots for his Roman audience, enhancing them with farcical elements. Some of Plautus' plays were later adapted by William Shakespeare (e.g., Comedy of Errors).
Terentius, -i m.
Publius Terentius Afer, the Roman comic playwright (circa 190-150 BCE), was a slave from northern Africa freed by one of the Terentii. Following Plautus in the reworking of Greek New Comedies, especially those of Menander, he was famed for the elegance of his language.
metrum, -i n.
a poetical measure, meter (from the Greek metron).
solutus, -a, -um
freed from; followed by the ablative of separation (meaning that she wrote prose).
quae= haec epistulae.
sive...sive correlative conjunctions
whether...or; the correlatives are uxoris and ipsius.
affirmo, -firmare, -firmavi, -firmatus
assert, affirm, swear to; the subject is Saturninus. Pliny cannot substantiate Saturninus' claim, but he is willing to repeat it.
nego, -are, -avi, -atus
equal; translate with gloria.
dignus, -a, -um + ablative
worthy of. Supply est; the subject is Saturninus.
aut...aut correlative conjunction
either...or. Note that qui is the subject of both correlative verbs componat and reddiderit.
illa: supply perhaps verba or opera.
compono, -ponere, -posui, -positum
quam: relative pronoun and object of accepit.
virgo, virginis f.
maiden, young girl; in apposition with quam.
doctus, -a, -um
learned, educated; translate with uxorem.
politus, -a, -um
polished, refined; educated; translate with uxorem.
reddo, -dere, -didi, -ditus
bring about; produce, render. The subject is Saturninus, who receives praise rather than the unnamed wife in either instance, as creator of words or "creator" of their author.
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