Ausonius, Epitaphia heroum qui bello Troico
interfuerunt 9 “Pyrrho”
Notes: “the middle of the world”: Orestes killed Pyrrhus/Neoptolemus at Delphi,
where a stone known as the omphalos
marked what was thought to be the geographic center of the world. “the spoils of a king”: Priam.
I am buried at the middle of the world-
I who showed greater valor
Than my father did, for I,
Pyrrhus, still a boy,
Won the spoils of a king.
Wicked Orestes slew me
Before the altars, by trickery-
But why be shocked? Already
He was mad from his mother’s murder.
Orbe tegor medio, maior virtute paterna,
quod puer et regis Pyrrhus opima
Impius ante aras quem fraude peremit Orestes-
quid mirum? caesa iam genetrice
Pyrrhus and Andromache before Hector’s Tomb, Johan Ludwig Lund, between 1807 and 1811
John put an exclamation point after “habebit” and a question mark after “segetes,” so we weren’t really looking at these as connected sentences. We thought he might have dropped the “esse” in “Barbarus has segetes?” and was just really bad at matching cases, numbers, and genders.
We thought “perduxit” was “perdonit.”
“En quais” was supposed to be “his nos.” Is “en quais” even Latin?????
We thought “consevimus agros” was possibly “consevi bonus agros” (it was hard to tell with the tear in the paper), which again led us to believe that John could not match numbers and cases.
Here’s what the passage says in English, as translated from Virgil’s version:
A disloyal soldier will own these well-tilled fields, a barbarian/foreigner (will own) these crops. To this, discord has led our unfortunate citizens: for these men we sowed our lands.
ciceroprofacto suggested that John’s use of a question mark in “Barbarus has segetes?” could mean that he was “being a belligerent shit” (direct quote from cicero) and was questioning whether they would let the British soldiers take their lands, and I think this interpretation definitely fits John’s personality and sentiments.
And here’s a summary of Vergil’s First Eclogue, from here:
[I]t reflects the days after Julius Caesar’s assassination when residents
of northern Italy were dispossessed to provide land for discharged
soldiers. Maliboeus, one of the speakers, is among the exiles. He has
left his newborn goats on the rocky road as he makes his way toward a
new home in Africa, Scythia, or Britain. He laments the fact that the
land he has labored to cultivate must fall into the hands of some
barbarous veteran, and he inquires how his friend Tityrus has managed to
escape the general desolation. Tityrus explains that he went to Rome to
plead for his land and that a youth, whom some have identified with
Augustus, granted his request, leaving him free to enjoy the humming of
the bees on his neighbor’s land. He offers his sympathy and his simple
hospitality to the unfortunate Maliboeus.