Notes to Tacitus. Annales 15.51

cuncto (1)
hesitate, delay; the implied subject of cunctantibus and prolatantibus is the conspirators in ablative absolute.
prolato (1)
put off, defer, delay. Observe Tacitus's use in the following excerpts of participles, especially those derived from deponent verbs.
Epicharis, -is f.
Epicharis, a Greek female cognomen meaning endowed with grace (accusative form: Epicharin). What is the effect of Tacitus's initial reference to her (Epicharis quaedam) and her involvement?
incertus, -a,-um
uncertain; supply est for this interruption of the main clause Epicharis quaedam . . .accendere et arguere coniuratos.
quo modo adverb
in what way, how; the addition of the enclitic nam adds emphasis.
sciscitor (1, deponent)
inform oneself, seek to know, question; the perfect participle can be understood as an adjective modifying Epicharis or as a finite verb with ellipsis of est.
illi : dative of possession with fuerat, it refers to Epicharis. Why does he choose neque rather than simply non? What is the effect of its placement before illi?
honestus, -a, -um
honorable, respectable, virtuous; objective genitive with cura. Note the chiastic word order (chiasmus): ulla rerum honestarum cura.
accendo, -ere, -cendi, -censum
to incite, inflame; a historical infinitive.
arguo, -ere, -guī, -gūtus
blame, chide; a historical infinitive.
coniurati, -orum m. pl.
conspirators; from coniuro (1), meaning swear together, conspire, unite.
postremum adverb
last of all; at last.
lentitudo, -inis f.
slowness, sluggishness, inactivity.
pertaedet, -ere, -taeduit, -taesum est
feel disgust at, be sick of. The impersonal verb, an intense form of the simple taedet, is used here in a personal sense modifying Epicharis; it is followed by the genitive of object of disgust (lentitudinis).
ago, -ere, egi, actum
spend/pass time; do, act, drive; subject is Epicharis.
prīmōris, -e
officers; first in rank; noble; object of labefacere.
classĭārĭi, -orum, m. pl.
marines, naval forces.
Misenensis, -e
of/belonging to Misenum; modifies classiariorum. Misenum was a harbor town in Campania in Southern Italy (see SPQR for map).
labefacio, -ere, -feci, -factum
cause to waver, shake, weaken; infinitive following conisa est.
conscientia, -ae, f.
complicity, joint knowledge; ablative of means.
inligo (1)
bind; infinitive following conisa est.
conitor, -niti, -nisus or -nixus, -a, um sum
strive, labor, struggle; subject is Epicharis.
initium, -i n.
beginning; ablative of means. With tali, Tacitus points the reader to the succeeding explanation of the situation.
plus, pluris
more; neuter plural comparative form of multus, -a, -um, it is the object of the understood dicit, a verb Tacitus frequently omits.
scelus, -eris n.
evil deed; crime, sin, wickedness.
princeps -ipis
foremost; chief, leader; prince; the reference is to Nero.
ordior, -iri, orsus, -a, -um sum
begin to list; undertake; the verb is in the historical present for vividness, followed by the indirect statement with manere in the infinitive.
sanctus, -a, -um
inviolable, sacred, pure, just; partitive genitive after neque quid[quam]. This reading is one of several emendations of the contested text in the Medicean manuscript, which reads: neque senatui quid manere.
quisquam, quaequam, quicquam or quidquam pronoun
anyone, anything; here with partitive genitive sancti.
provideo, -ere, -vidi, visum
foresee, plan, prepare for; impersonal form of the verb, supply est.
overthrown; ruined;dative with rei publicae after poenas . . . dare. Note the (chiastic) word order.
do, dare, dedi, datum
give; with poenas=suffer punishment for, make atonement to. The verb form is imperfect subjunctive in indirect question; the subject is Nero.
accingo, -ere, -cinxi, -cinctum
make ready; arm, equip, furnish. The passive verb here has a middle sense and is used impersonally, though Epicharis intends Proculus to understand he is being solicited; the repetition of modo and the imperfect subjunctive suggest that the indirect question continues despite the change of subject.
navo (1)
accomplish with zeal and diligence; with operam=act vigorously.
sharp; spirited; fierce; the superlative adjective is used as a substantive (=acerrimos viros) with militum.
pars, -tis f.
party, faction, side; part, portion; frequently used in plural in Tacitus.
pretium -ii n.
reward; prize; Tacitus concludes Epicharis's reported speech with the outcome she expects will convince Proculus -- personal gain.
exspecto (1)
look out for, await, hope for; the third imperfect subjunctive verb in indirect question.
reticeo -ere
keep silent; conceal, keep secret. Epicharis limits the risk of her action to herself.
unde adverb
from which (source, cause, reason): Tacitus points to Epicharis's silence (nomina coniuratorum reticuit) to explain Nero's response to Proculus's betrayal of a plot improbably constructed by a single woman.
indicium, -ii n.
disclosure charge, information.
inritus, -a, -um
worthless, useless, ineffectual.
quamvis conjunction + subjunctive
although, followed by detulisset.
qui, quae, quod relative pronoun
who, which, what; neuter plural following the antecedent ea.
defero, -ferre, -tuli, -latum
bring, offer, report, accuse; direct object is ea (neuter plural.)
accio, -cire, -civi, -citum
to summon, call.
quippe adverb
certainly, of course.
index, -icis m.
informer; ablative of accompaniment after cum.
compono, -ere, -posui, -positum
bring together, bring into contact; set in opposition, followed by cum + ablative.
testis, -is m.f.
witness; in the ablative after innisum.
innitor, -niti, nisus or -nixus, -a, -um sum
lean upon, support oneself by; understand Proculum, followed by the ablative nullis testibus.
confuto, (1)
check, confute, put to silence, put down by words.
ipse, ipsa, ipsum intensive pronoun
self, very; feminine singular referring to Epicharis.
custodia, -ae f.
confinement, prison.
retineo, -ere, -tinui, -tentum
detain, retain, hold back; The subject is Epicharis.
suspicio, -ere, -spexi, -spectum
suspect; present participle in ablative absolute modifying Nerone, followed by indirect statement falsa esse.
haud adverb
not, not at all.
etiam conjunction
probo (1)
show, prove, demonstrate, test.
recordor (1)
remember, call to mind; followed by the infinitive in indirect statement attineri.
attineo, -ere, -tinui, -tentum
hold, detain; subject of the passive infinitive is Epicharin.
reor, -eri, ratus, -a, -um sum
believe, think; the subject is Nero.
muliebris, -e
of a woman; feminine.
impar, -aris
unequal to, unable to cope with; followed by the dative case dolori.
tormentum, -i n.
torture, the rack; ablative of means after dilacerari.
dilacero (1)
tear to pieces; understand Epicharin or muliebre corpus.
illam: placed with a strong adversative (at) at the beginning of the sentence for emphatic comparison with the male conspirators, it is the object of pervicere below.
verber, -eris n.
whip, lash, rod; consider the effect of the anaphora of non.
acrius comparative adverb
more sharply, fiercely; intensified with the adverb eo=so much, by so much.
torqueo, -ere, torsi, tortum
put to torture, put to the rack; torture; present active participle, genitive plural.
sperno -ere, sprevi, spretum
scorn, disdain, insult; imperfect subjunctive in a negative purpose clause with ne: Tacitus imagines the motivation of the torturers.
pervinco, -ere, -vici, -victum
conquer completely, be victorious; the form is a syncopated third person plural, its object illam above.
quin conjunction
but that; so that . . .not, equivalent to ut non in a negative result clause after pervincere.
obiecta, -orum n. pl.
denego (1)
deny; imperfect subjunctive after quin.
quaestio, -onis f.
examination, inquisition, investigation by torture.
contemno, -ere, -tempsi, -temptum
defy, dispise. The subject is dies; understand est.
posterus, -a, -um
following, next; understand die.
cruciatus, -us m.
torture, torment.
retraho, -ere, -traxi, -tractum
drag back, lead back; imperfect subjunctive in circumstantial clause with cum.
gestamen, -inis n.
vehicle, conveyance; ablative of means.
sella, -ae f.
portable or sedan chair.
dissolvo, -ere, -solvi, -solutum
loosen asunder, unloose;
insisto -ere, -stiti
stand on, step on; followed by the ablative absolute dissolutis membris.
nequeo, -ere, -ivi/–ii, -itum
be unable.
vinclum, -i n.
band, bond, a means of binding; dative with restricto below.
fascia, -ae f.
band, breast-band. See SPQR for an example worn by a female athlete.
pectus, -oris, n.
breast; in the dative after detraxerat.
detraho, -ere, -traxi, -tractum
remove, to take from; the verb takes as its direct object quam (whose antecedent is fasciae).
laqueus, -ei m.
noose; genitive case after in modum in the manner of, like.
arcus, -us m.
any thing arched or curved like a bow: here, the frame of the sedan chair.
restringo, -ere, -inxi, -ictum
bind fast; perfect passive participle modifying vinclo above.
indo, -ere, -dĭdi, dĭtum
put/place into; followed by the dative vinclo and the accusative cervicem.
pondus, -eris n.
conitor, -niti, -nixus, -a, -um sum
lean or brace oneself against; put forth all one’s strength, strive; the subject is Epicharis.
tenuis -e
weak, slight, thin.
spiritus, -us m.
breath, life.
exprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressum
force out, press out.
clarior, -oris comparative form of clarus
honorable, glorious; bright, clear; modifies exemplo, an ablative of quality or description with fuit understood.
libertinus, -a, -um
of or belonging to the condition of a freed person. While libertina alone can be used substantively as freedwoman, Tacitus here emphasizes Epicharis's singular status as freed slave and woman (mulier); understand fuit.
necessitas, -tatis f.
constraint, compulsion, distress, trouble, difficulty.
alienus, -a,-um
not one’s own, not related, not allied.
ignotus, -a, -um
unknown, outside one’s acquaintance.
protego, -ere, -texi, -tectum
protect, defend; gerund in the ablative case, followed by direct objects alienos and ignotos. Note how Tacitus uses the alliterative sounds of prope ignotos protegendo and pignorum proderent to underscore the opposing behaviors of a libertina mulier and ingenui viri.
ingenuus, -a, -um
freeborn; note the anaphora of et and the climactic revelation of political leaders.
intactus, -a, -um
untouched, uninjured, unbroken; followed by the ablative tormentis; note the sound painting of t.
pignus, -oris n.
pledge; children, relatives (as pledges of love); modified by suorum.
prodo, -ere, -didi, -ditum
betray, give up, desert; imperfect subjunctive after cum in a circumstantial clause. The direct object is the neuter plural carissima. The betrayals of the upperclasses are singled out as separate actions by quisque.

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