Notes to L. Annaeus Lucanus, Bellum Civile II. 326-371

interea adverb
meanwhile. Cato has just concluded a conversation with Brutus in which he set forth his rationale for backing Pompey in the coming civil war.

Phoebus, -i, m.
Phoebus, a regular epithet of Apollo, the god of the sun; here he is the subject of pellente. Click on the SPQR at the end of the line for an image of him as archer-god with his sister Phoebe driving their chariot.

gelidus, -a, -um
cold, frosty, chilling.

pello, -ere, pepuli, pulsum
drive, rout, expel, banish; an ablative absolute with Phoebo.

tenebrae, -arum, f.
darkness, night; object of pellente.

pulso (1)
batter, knock, strike; modifies fores.

sono, -are, sonui, sonitum
make a noise, sound, resound; scan sonuere (= 3rd person plural perfect sonuerunt) and see also below: flexere (350), lusere (368), coiere (370).

foris, is f. (usually in plural)

sanctus, -a, -um
pious, virtuous, chaste; scan for the length of the –a.

relinquo, -ere, -liqui, -lictum
abandon, leave behind.

Hortensius, -i, m.
Q. Hortensius (RE 13) Hortalus (114-49 B.C.) was Cicero’s chief rival in oratory and Cato's friend. Note the Roman custom of referring to a wife by adding to her name her husband's name in the genitive (thus he “possesses” her in every sense of the word): Hortensi ... Marcia here is followed below by Catonis Marcia (343-344).

maereo, -ere
mourn, be sad; note the alliteration of maerens ... Marcia, highlighting her emotional state throughout the passage (see maesta in l. 337 and maesti in l. 365).

irrumpo, -ere, -rupi, -ruptum
rush into, break into; the direct object is quas (i.e. fores).

bustum, -i, n.
pyre, tomb; translate busto with relicto as an ablative absolute. Note the interlocked word-order and rhyme in the last two words of ll. 327-8: sancta relicto and Marcia busto. Click on SPQR at the end of the line for a scene of a body being carried to the pyre.

quondam adverb
once, formerly.

torus, -i, m.
marriage-bed, marriage.  Lucan recalls the linguistic and thematic pun in Greek which identifies “marriage” (thalamos, in Latin torus) and “death” (thanatos) as the only two good times in a woman’s life (cf., e.g., Palladas, AP 11.381).

iungo, -ere, iunxi, iunctum
join; here, iuncta = iuncta erat, followed by the dative case.

maritus, -i, m.
husband; here, melioris ... mariti = Cato, as virgo = Marcia. M. Porcius (RE 20) Cato (95-46 BCE), also known as Cato the Younger, was the great-grandson of M. Porcius (RE 9) Cato (234-149 B.C.), known as Censor. As a staunch traditionalist, the younger Cato supported Pompey in the civil war in the hope of preserving the Republic. Defeated at the battle of Utica, he committed suicide rather than surrender to Caesar and his clementia.

mox adverb
soon, later; next.

conubium, -i, n.
marriage; the right to marry; it is a legal term that signifies the capacity of a man to take a wife (uxoris iure ducendae facultas). Conubium requires three conditions: that both parties have Roman citizenship, be of a minimum marriageable age, and not be too closely related.

merces, -edis, f.
reward; fee, pay; pretium mercesque are specified in the next line through the appositive tertia iam suboles.

solvo, -ere, solvi, solutum
pay, fulfill; pretium mercesque (as well as tertia iam suboles) are the subjects of soluta est.

suboles, -is, f.
progeny, off-spring. Translate tertia ... suboles in apposition with pretium mercesque. It refers to the three children which traditionally a wife was to bear her husband. Having already borne three living children for Cato, he gave Marcia in marriage to Hortensius.

fecundus, -a, -um
fruitful, fertile; understand Marcia, the subject of datur.

Penates,  -ium, m. pl.
household gods; home; note the internal rhyme with suboles.

impleo, -ere, -plevi, -pletum
fill, satisfy, complete; the future participles impletura and permixtura express purpose.

geminus, -a, -um
twin, both; translate geminas after et with domos (i.e., fecunda datur impletura alios penates et permixtura geminas domos sanguine matris).

postquam conjunction
after, when.

condo, -ere, condidi, conditum
put away, bury.

urna, -ae, f.
urn; here, funeral urn; ablative of place in which.

cinis, -eris, m. or f.
ashes; i.e., the final remains of Hortensius after cremation.

miserandus, -a, -um
sad, pitiable.

concitus, -a, -um
moving rapidly, headlong; concita is the first in a series of perfect passive participles that describe Marcia's behavior upon burial of Hortensius: laniatacontusaingesta.

vultus, -us, m.
appearance; expression; face; see below in the plural (361: voltus).

effundo, -ere, -fusi, -fusum
pour forth; loosen (with hair).

lanio, -are, -avi, -atum
tear, mutilate; translate effusas ... comas with laniata as a Greek accusative (“with respect to”).

contundo, -ere, -tudi, -tusum
bruise, beat; translate pectus with contusa as another Greek accusative.

verber, -eris, n.
strokes; lash.

creber, crebra, crebrum
frequent, numerous, abundant.

ingero, -ere, -gessi, -gestum
throw upon, heap on.

sepulchrum, -i, n.
grave, tomb.

aliter adverb
otherwise; differently.

placeo, -ere, placui, placitum
be pleasing (to), satisfy; placitura, a future participle modifying Marcia. It explains why she chooses to present herself and her request for remarriage to Cato in mourning attire.

maestus, -a, -um
sorrowful, mourning.

profor (1 deponent)
speak; the subject is Marcia (understood).

dum conjunction
while, as long as.

insum, -esse, -fui
be in; belong to; supply mihi: the subjects are sanguis and vis materna.

vis, vis, f.
power, vigor, strength.

perago, -ere, -egi, -actum
carry out, finish, accomplish.

excipio, -ere, -cepi, -ceptum
receive, welcome.

fetus, -a, -um
pregnant; productive.

viscera, -um, n. pl.
womb; internal organs.

lassus, -a, -um
weary, tired, worn out.

partus, -us, m.
bringing forth, birth.

revertor, -verti, -versus/a sum

trado, -ere, tradidi, traditum
deliver, hand over; betray; tradenda is a gerundive (a future passive participle expressing necessity).

foedus, -eris, n.
agreement, treaty; law.

priscus, -a, -um
former; ancient.

illibatus, -a, -um

tantum adverb
only, just, merely.

inanis, -e

licet, -ere, licuit/licitum est
it is permitted, it is right; liceat is a jussive subjunctive.

tumulus, -i, m.
burial mound.

dubius, -a, -um
doubtful, uncertain.

longus, -a, -um
far-reaching; long.

quaero, -ere, quaesivi, quaesitum
ask, seek for.

aevum, -i, n.

muto, -are, -avi, -atum
alter, change; here, exchange; mutarim is a contracted form of the perfect  mutaverim. Translate mutarim as a double indirect question with quaeratur (i.e., [utrum] expulsa an tradita muta[ve]rim primas taedas).

expello, -ere, -puli, -pulsum
drive away; repudiate.

taeda, -ae, f.
pine torch; marriage.

laetus, -a, -um
happy, joyful; translate as a neuter plural noun.

socia, -ae, f.
partner, ally; friend. The term socius is regularly used for male associates. Marcia seeks to be not a coniunx or an uxor but a socia.

secundus, -a, -um
favorable, propitious.

pars, partis, f.
share, part.

castra, -orum, n. pl.
camp; army life.

tutus, -a, -um

relinquo, -ere, -liqui, -lictum
leave, abandon, forsake; the deliberative subjunctive follows cur.

proprior, -ius, comparative adjective  + dative
nearer (to, closer (to).

Cornelia, -ae, f.
Cornelia (RE 417), the daughter of Q. Caecilius (RE 99) Metellus Pius Scipio, first married P. Licinius (RE 63) Crassus, younger son of M. Licinius (RE 68) Crassus, the triumvir, then became the fifth wife of the much older Cn. Pompeius (RE 31) Magnus in 52 BCE. Marcia invokes the example of Cornelia, who accompanies Pompey into war, as a model.

flecto, -ere, flexi, flexum
bend, turn; prevail on, soften; flexere is the shortened perfect form of flexerunt (see also  lusere in l. 368 and coiere in l. 370). The subject is voces (= rationes); Marcia knows how to persuade Cato, well known for his inflexibility.

quamquam adverb + subjunctive

alienus, -a, -um
unfavorable (to); another’s, foreign; contrary, averse, hostile.

tamen adverb
however, nevertheless.

vanus, -a, -um
useless, empty; the first -a is long; scan for the length of the ending. Note the interlocking word order (synchesis) with enjambment.

careo, -ere, carui, --
abstain from, be free from.

pompa, -ae, f.
procession; ostentation. The reference here is both specific and general; it refers to both the procession of the bride from her home to the groom's home and to the public display of the wedding ceremony.

ius, iuris, n.
law; right; justice.

sacra, –orum, n. pl.
rite; ceremony; sacrificial implements.

admitto, -ere, -misi, -missum
admit, grant, permit; translate sacris deos admittere testes as the third subject of the verb placent, along with foedera sola and vana carentia pompa iura.

testis, -is, m./f.

festus, -a, um

corono (1)
crown, wreathe; modifies limine.

pendeo, -ere, pependi + ablative
hang (from). While non is placed beside pendent, it is meant to negate all the nuptial activities described in ll. 355-359.

limen, -inis, n.
threshold; doorway, entrance; house.

serta, -orum, n. pl.
chains of flowers, garlands.

infula, -ae, f.
sacred band. The infula was a strip of white wool knotted at intervals with ribbons (vittae); it was bound around the heads of priests and sacrificial victims and hung from doorways to mark a religious ceremony.

discurro, -ere, -(cu)curri, -cursum
run about; run different ways.

postis, -is, m.

legitimus, -a, -um
lawful; proper.

fax, -is, f.
wedding- torch; funeral-torch; torch; marriage.

gradus, -us, m.
step, pace; here, foot/legs (of a bed).

acclinis, -e
leaning (on).

eburnus, -a, -um
(made of) ivory.

pictus, -a, -um

vestis, is, f.
tapestry, drapery, coverlet.

discrimino, -are, -avi, -atum
distinguish; divide, separate.

turritus, -a, -um
crowned with towers; tower-shaped; with corona, an ablative of means working with the action in premens frontem.

frons, frontis, m.
forehead, brow; object of premens.

matrona, -ae, f.
matron, wife; matrona, modified by translata, is the subject of vitat. Lucan describes the usual marriage rituals which Marcia as a virgo surely enjoyed, but now does not (non).

transfero, -ferre,  -tuli, -latum
bring across, transfer; with planta an ablative of means working with the action in vitat contingere limina.

vito (1)
avoid; evade.

contingo, -ere, -tigi, -tactum

planta, -ae, f.
sole of the foot. According to Roman custom, it was considered an evil omen if the bride tripped as she entered her new husband’s home for the first time; thus she was carried across the threshold to avert the evil omen.

nupta, -ae, f.
the bride; the veiled one; possessive genitive of timidum . . . pudorem.

leviter adverb
lightly, easily.

tego, -ere, texi, tectum
conceal, cover; protect; the subject is lutea . . . flammea, the future participle expresses purpose.

luteum, -i, n.
yellow, orange; modifies flammea. This color, reserved for the bride, symbolized her promise of fertility and her sanctity.

demissus, -a, -um
dejected, downcast; with vultus, the plural may describe her eyes or her expression.

velo, -are, -avi, -atum
veil; cover, conceal; velarunt = velaverunt. The subject is lutea ... flammea; the object is demissos . . . vultus. Note the interlocking word order around velarunt.

flammeum, -i, n.
flame-colored bridal veil. Made of transparent fabric, it was intended to cover her hair and shield her face modestly from onlookers.

balteus, -i, m.
girdle; translate balteus after aut.

fluxus, -a, -um
flowing; loose.

gemma, -ae, f.
precious stones, jewels.

astringo, -ere, -strinxi, -strictum
tighten, bind, fasten.

amictus, us, m.
mantle, cloak; clothing.

collum, -i, n.
neck; often in the plural, it is a Greek accusative  of respect following decens.

monile, -is, n.
necklace. See the SPQR at the end of the line for an elegant example.

decens, -entis
graceful (for);appropriate (to), fitting (for).

umerus, -i, m.
shoulder; primis, in reference to umeris, would be the tips of her shoulders.

haereo, -ere, -sivi, -situm
be attached; hanging on; clinging to.

supparum, -i, n.
linen garment; likely attracted into the plural by lugubria. It was a type of clothing worn by women, either a tunic or a scarf. Note the interlocking word order around the verb.

nudatus, -a, -um
exposed, bared.

cingo, -ere, -cinxi, cinctum
enclose; surround; gird.

angustus, -a, -um
narrow, close.

lacertus, -i. m.
upper arm.

lugubria, -ium, n. pl.
mourning garment.

cultus, -us, m.
dress, attire; the subject of erat and servat  is Marcia..

amplector, -plecti, -plexus sum
embrace; read amplexa est. Translate with natos as well as maritum as follows:  quoque (=et quo) modo natos [amplexa est] hoc [modo] maritum amplexa est. Thus Marcia fulfills her promise that this will be a marriage in name only.

obsitus, -a, -um
covered over; modifying purpura, it is redundant with the verb celatur.

celo (1)
hide, conceal.

purpura, -ae, f.
purple cloth; finery; modified by obsita. It was a band worn around the bride's tunic.

lana, -ae, f.
wool; modified by funerea.

solitus, -a, -um

ludo, -ere, lusi, lusum
play; mock; amuse; lusere is the shortened form of the perfect luserunt (see also coiere in l. 370).

sal, salis, m.
salt; in the plural, jokes, witticisms; these were ribald comments made by the onlookers to the bridal procession as it passed.

Sabinus, -a, -um
Sabine; more Sabino is a reference to the rape of the Sabine women  and the cries associated with the bridal procession, particularly the singing of the Fescennine verses and the shout “Thalassio” (see Livy 1.9-13).

convicium, -i, n.
clamor; in the plural abuse,mockery; note the chiastic word order.

pignus, -oris, n.
dear ones, children (plural); pledge, token; note the chiastic word order around domum and coiere.

coeo, -ire, -i(v)i, -itum
come together (to), gather (at); coiere is the shortened perfect form of coierunt. Translate domum as an accusative of the goal of motion with both  pignora nulla and nulli propinqui as subjects of the verb.

propinquus, -i, m./f.
relative, kin.

auspex, auspicis, m.
diviner by birds, soothsayer; the auspex came to be not a priest but a close friend of the couple who read the sacrificial omens.

Brutus, -i, m.
M. Iunius (RE 53) Brutus (85-42 B.C.), raised and educated by Cato the Younger, was best known for his leading role, along with C. Cassius (RE 59) Longinus, in the assassination of Julius Caesar and the outbreak of the civil war which ended the Republic and gave rise to Caesar's adopted nephew Octavian, who became known as Augustus, the first Roman emperor.


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