|Moreover, they themselves have obnoxiously put down both
her appearance and her age. They've called it a vice that I wanted such a
wife, saying that it was for greed and that the very first thing I did in
the marriage was snatch a great and boutiful dowry.
||Formam mulieris et aetatem ipsi ultro improbauerunt idque mihi uitio
dederunt, talem uxorem causa auaritiae concupisse atque adeo primo dotem
in congressu grandem et uberem rapuisse. |
|It wouldn't do to wear you out with a long oration,
Maximus, in responding to these things. There's no need for words when the
records speak much more eloquently -- the records in which everything is
different from what these rapacious jerks have made up about me, the facts
of my present circumstances and my provisions for gaining things in the
future. First you'll see that this wealthy woman's dowry was moderate and
wasn't a gift, only a trust. Moreover, this marriage was contracted with
the provision that if she were to die without our having children, the
whole dowry would remain with her sons, Pontianus and Pudens. If, however,
she were to die with one son or one daughter remaining, then the dowry
would be divided, with part going to the most recently born son, and the
remainder going to her other sons from the first marriage.
||ad haec, Maxime, longa oratione fatigare te non est consilium; nihil
uerbis opus est, cum multo disertius ipsae tabulae loquantur, in quibus
omnia contra, quam isti ex sua rapacitate de me quoque coniectauerunt,
facta impraesentiarum et prouisa in posterum deprehendis: iam primum
mulieris locupletissimae modicam dotem neque eam datam, sed tantum modo
[creditam], praeter haec ea condicione factam coniunctionem, nullis ex me
susceptis liberis [si] uita demigrasset, uti dos omnis apud filios eius
Pontianum et Pudentem maneret, sin uero uno unaue superstite diem suum
obisset, uti tum diuidua pars dotis posteriori filio, reliqua prioribus
demonstrate these things, as I've said, by the public records themselves.
It may be that Aemelianus won't believe that only three hundred thousand
coins have been recorded as the dowry and that this dowry, by the
agreement of Pudentilla, would be given to her sons at the reading of her
|| Haec, ut dico, tabulis ipsis docebo.
fors fuat an ne sic quidem credat Aemilianus sola trecenta milia nummum
scripta eorumque repetitionem filiis Pudentillae pacto datam. |
|If you please, take the record with your own hands. Give it
to your instigator, Rufinus. Let him read it. He should be ashamed of his
swollen pride and his ambitious lying. In fact, though needy and deprived,
he endowed his daughter with four hundred thousand coins which he received
from a creditor. Pudentilla, a wealthy woman, was content with three
hundred thousand for a dowry and has a husband -- who, after rejecting
many great dowries, is content with the empty name of such a small one,
counting the rest as nothing except his own wife. He figures that all the
household goods and other riches are in their conjugal union and their
||cape sis ipse tu manibus tuis tabulas istas, da impulsori tuo Rufino:
legat, pudeat illum tumidi animi sui et ambitiosae mendicitatis; quippe
ipse egens, nudus CCCC milibus nummum a creditore acceptis filiam dotauit,
Pudentilla locuples femina trecentis milibus dotis fuit contenta et
maritum habet, et multis saepe et ingentibus dotibus spretis, inani nomine
tantulae dotis contentum, ceterum praeter uxorem suam nihil computantem,
omnem supellectilem cunctasque diuitias in concordia coniugii et mutuo
amore ponentem. |
|Though who would find fault if a woman, a widow and of
average looks but not of moderate age, wanted to marry and used a large
dowry and easy situation to rouse up a youth, who himself wasn't lacking
in health, intelligence or fortune? An unmarried and beautiful woman, even
if she's incredibly poor, still has a large dowry, since she carries to
her new husband an natural quality of spirit, the grace of beauty and the
beginnings of youth.
||quamquam quis omnium uel exigue rerum peritus culpare auderet, si
mulier uidua et mediocri forma, at non aetate mediocri, nubere uolens
longa dote et molli condicione inuitasset iuuenem neque corpore neque
animo neque fortuna paenitendum? uirgo formosa etsi sit oppido pauper,
tamen [h]abunde dotata est; affert quippe ad maritum nouum animi indolem,
pulchritudinis gratiam, floris rudimentum. |
|The worth of her virginity is most pleasing to all husbands
by right and by merit. After all, you can give back everything you took as
dowry whenever you please -- you're not constrained by an obligation. You
can pay back the money, return the slaves, move out of the house, and
withdraw from the estates. Only virginity can't be returned, once it's
been taken -- it's the only element of the the dowry to remain with the
||ipsa uirginitatis commendatio iure meritoque omnibus maritis
acceptissima est; nam quodcumque aliud in dotem acceperis, potes, cum
libuit, ne sis beneficio obstrictus, omne ut acceperas retribuere,
pecuniam renumerare, mancipia restituere, domo demigrare, praediis cedere:
sola uirginitas cum semel accepta est, reddi nequitur, sola apud maritum
ex rebus dotalibus remanet. |
|A widow, however, leaves in a divorce in the same condition
in which she came to marriage. She offers nothing which she can't demand
back again, but she comes already having lost her virginity to someone
else. She's certainly not at all submissive to you with regards to what
you want. And she's suspicious of her new house just as much as she
herself should be suspect on account of having already had one separation:
whether she lost her husband by death (which would make her not at all
desirable, being a woman who brings unfavorable omens and unfortunate
marriages), or she departed in divorce.
||uidua autem qualis nuptiis uenit, talis diuortio digreditur; nihil
affert inreposcibile, sed uenit iam ab alio praeflorata, certe tibi ad
quae uelis minime docilis, non minus suspectans nouam domum quam ipsa iam
ob unum diuortium suspectanda, siue illa morte amisit maritum, ut scaeui
ominis mulier et infausti coniugii minime appetenda, seu repudio digressa
|In either case, it's the woman's fault. She either was so
intolerable that she was rejected, or so insolent that she did the
||utramuis habe[n]s culpam mulier, quae aut tam intolerabilis fuit, ut
repudiaretur, aut tam insolens, ut repudiaret. |
|On account of these and other factors, widows tempt suitors
with an inflated dowry, which Pudentilla would have done for another
husband if she hadn't found a philosopher who scorned of money.
||ob haec et alia uiduae dote aucta procos sollicitant. quod Pudentilla
quoque in alio marito fecisset, si philosophum spernentem dotis non
| And really,
now, if I'd desired the woman for the sake of greed, what would have been
more useful to me in taking over her house than to breed dislike between
mother and sons, to extract any affection for her children from her heart,
so that all by myself I might conquer the abandoned woman more easily and
||Age uero, si auaritiae causa mulierem concupissem, quid mihi utilius
ad possidendam domum eius fuit quam simultatem inter matrem et filios
serere, alienare ab eius animo liberorum caritatem, quo liberius et artius
desolatam mulierem solus possiderem? |
|Isn't this invented event the action of a robber? When in
fact, I was a supporter, a mediator, a promoter of peace, harmony,
devotion. Not only did I not plant new feuds, but I entirely uprooted the
old ones. I encouraged my wife, whose whole fortune, according to these
men, I'd already eaten up through and through -- as I say, I encouraged
her, and finally persuaded her to immediately pay back her money (which I
mentioned before) to her sons who were demanding it back, in estates
appraised cheaply and for the amount they wanted.
||fuitne hoc praedonis? quod uos fingitis. ego uero quietis et
concordiae et pietatis auctor, conciliator, fauisor non modo noua odia non
serui, sed uetera quoque funditus extirpaui. suasi uxori meae, cuius, ut
isti aiunt, iam uniuersas opes transuoraram, suasi, inquam, ac denique
persuasi, ut filiis pecuniam suam reposcentibus, de qua supra dixeram, ut
eam pecuniam sine mora redderet in praedis uili aestimatis et quanto ipsi
|Moreover, I persuaded her to give them from her household
property the most fertile fields, the lofty, luxuriously decorated house,
and a great quantity of wheat, barley, wine, olive oil, and other crops.
Also, no less than four hundred slaves, and herds besides, neither small
nor of mean price. In this way she might keep them cheerful with the part
she'd given them and encourage them with good hope for the rest of the
||praeterea ex re familiari sua fructuosissimos agros et grandem domum
opulente ornatam magnamque uim tritici et ordei et uini et oliui
ceterorumque fructuum, seruos quoque haud minus CCCC, pecora amplius neque
pauca neque abiecti pretii donaret, ut eos et ex ea parte quam tribuisset
securos haberet et ad cetera hereditatis bona spe[i] inuitaret. |
|These things, therefore, I extorted with difficulty from
the unwilling Pudentilla -- for she'll let me tell it as it was -- I
wrested them, pleading mightily, from the unwilling and angry woman. I
reconciled the mother to her sons, and I furnished my stepsons with much
money, in this first kindness of a stepfather.
||haec ergo ab inuita Pudentilla -- patietur enim me, uti res fuit, ita
dicere -- aegre extudi, ingentibus precibus inuitae et iratae extorsi,
matrem filiis reconciliaui, priuignos meos primo hoc uitrici beneficio
grandi pecunia auxi. |
| This was known
by the whole city. Everyone cursed Rufinus and exalted me with praises.
Pontianus came to us, with his brother so unlike him, before Pudentilla
had finished her gift-giving. Falling at our feet, he asked us to forgive
and forget all the events of the past. He kissed our hands, weeping, and
said that he regretted listening to Rufinus and men like him. After that,
he also humbly begged me to clear himself before the most honorable
Lollianus Avitus, whom I'd recently recommended to him for beginning his
study of rhetoric. Obviously, he'd found out that a few days before I had
written to Avitus everything in detail, just as it happened. This, too, he
got from me.
||Cognitum hoc est tota ciuitate. Rufinum omnes execrati me laudibus
tulere. uenerat ad nos, priusquam istam donationem perficeret, cum
dissimili isto fratre suo Pontianus, pedes nostros aduolutus ueniam et
obliuionem praeteritorum omnium postularat, flens et manus nostras
osculabundus ac dicens paenitere quod Rufino et similibus auscultarit.
petit postea suppliciter, uti se Lolliano quoque Auito C. V. purgem, cui
haud pridem tirocinio orationis suae fuerat a me commendatus; quippe
compererat ante paucos dies omnia me, ut acta erant, ad eum perscripsisse.
id quoque a me impetrat. |
|And so, when he took my letter, he went on to Carthage,
where Lollianus Avitus awaited you, Maximus, since by then his term as
consul was nearly over. When Avitus read my letters, he congratulated
Pontianus with his own particular grace, because Pontianus had quickly
corrected his own error.
||itaque acceptis litteris Carthaginem pergit, ubi iam prope exacto
consulatus sui munere Lollianus Auitus te, Maxime, opperiebatur. [h]is
epistulis meis lectis pro sua eximia humanitate gratulatus Pontiano, quod
cito [h]errorem suum correxisset, |
|Through Pontianus, Avitus wrote back to me such letters --
good gods! with what learning, what pleasantness, what charm and at the
same time pleasure in words -- quite like "a good man skillful in
speaking." I know that you, Maximus, will gladly hear his letters; and if
I read them aloud, I will proclaim them in my own voice. Bring Avitus's
letters here, so that my pride might become my protection. But it's all
right, let the water flow. I want to read the letters of this great man
repeatedly, three or four times, no matter how much time it takes.
||rescripsit mihi per eum quas litteras, di boni, qua doctrina, quo
lepore, qua uerborum amoenitate simul et iucunditate, prorsus ut 'uir
bonus dicendi peritus'. scio te, Maxime, libenter eius litteras auditurum;
et quide[m] si praelegam, mea uoce pronuntiabo. cedo tu Auiti epistulas,
ut quae semper ornamento mihi fuerunt sint nunc etiam saluti. at tu
licebit aquam sinas fluere; namque optimi uiri litteras ter et quater aueo
quantouis temporis dispendio lectitare. -- |
| I'm not
unaware that I should have concluded after these letters of Avitus. For
could I bring out a more reliable character witness, a more august
observer of my life, a more eloquent counsel? In the course of my life,
I've diligently become acquainted with many articulate men with Roman
names, but I've never admired another as much. There's no one today -- for
what it's worth -- who is known for or aspires to eloquence, who wouldn't
prefer to be Avitus, if he wanted to compare himself to him without envy.
Almost all the different virtues of oratory come together in that man.
Whatever speech Avitus arranges will be so perfectly complete in every
respect that Cato wouldn't find it lacking in dignity, Laelius in
smoothness, Gracchus in force, Caesar in passion, Hortensius in
arrangement, Calvus in subtlety, Sallust in economy, Cicero in wealth.
|| Non sum nescius debuisse me post istas
Auiti litteras perorare. quem enim laudatorem locupletiorem, quem testem
uitae meae sanctiorem producam, quem denique aduocatum facundiorem? multos
in uita mea Romani nominis disertos uiros sedulo cognoui, sed sum [m]aeque
neminem ammiratus. nemo est hodie, quantum mea opinio fert, alicuius in
eloquentia laudis et spei, quin Auitus esse longe malit, si cu[m] eo se
remota inuidia uelit conferre; quippe omnes fandi uirtutes paene diuersae
in illo uiro congruunt. quamcumque ora[tio]nem struxerit Auitus, ita illa
erit undique sui perfecte absoluta, ut in illa neque Cato grauitatem
requirat neque Laelius lenitatem nec Gracchus impetum nec Caesar calorem
nec [H]ortensius distributionem nec Caluus argutias nec parsimoniam
Salustius nec opulentiam Cicero: prorsus, inquam, ne omnis persequar,
|If you heard Avitus, you'd want nothing added, removed, or
otherwise changed at all. I see, Maximus, how favorably you listen to
these features which you recognize in your friend Avitus. Your kindness
encouraged me to say just a few things about him. But I won't yield to
your good will so much that I permit myself to begin now at the end about
his outstanding virtues -- I'm almost worn out now, and this case is
winding down. Instead, I will keep them for when my strength is fresh and
my time is free.
||si Auitum audias, neque additum quicquam uelis neque detractum neque
autem aliquid commutatum. Video, Maxime, quam benigne audias, quae in
amico tuo Auito recognosces. tua me comitas, ut uel pauca dicerem de eo,
inuitauit. at non usque adeo tuae beniuolentiae indulgebo, ut mihi
permittam iam propemodum fesso in causa prorsus ad finem inclinata de
egregiis uirtutibus eius nunc demum incipere, quin potius eas integris
uiribus et tempori libero seruem. |
| Now, though it
annoys me, I have to turn my speech from the remembrance of so great a man
back to these troublemakers.
|| nunc enim mihi, quod aegre fero, a
commemoratione tanti uiri ad pestes istas oratio reuoluenda est. |
|Do you dare, Aemilianus, to compare yourself with Avitus?
||Audesne te ergo, Aemiliane, cum Auito conferre? |
|Will you attack for the crime of malicious magic the man
whom Avitus calls "good," whose disposition of character he completely
praises so highly in his letters?
||quemme ille bonum uirum ait, cuius animi disputationem tam plene suis
litteris collaudat, eum tu magiae maleficii criminis insectabere? |
|Or should you grieve more than Pontianus would have
grieved that I invaded Pudentilla's house and carried off her good things?
Pontianus, who apologized to me for a few days' feud (which you
instigated, of course), and also apologized in the presence of Avitus
while I was absent -- who thanked me in the presence of such a great man?
Imagine that I read the events that occurred at Avitus's house, not his
letters. What charges could you or anyone else bring against me in this
||an inuasisse me domum Pudentillae et concipilare bona eius tu magis
dolere debes quam doluisset Pontianus, qui mihi ob paucorum dierum uestro
scilicet instinctu ortas simultates etiam absenti apud Auitum satisfecit,
qui mihi apud tantum uirum gratias egit? puta me acta apud Auitum, non
litteras ipsius legisse. quid posses uel quas quis in isto negotio
|Pontianus himself considered the things he'd accepted,
given by his mother, to be my gift -- he was glad that I, his stepfather,
reached out to him with such deep affection. But I wish that he had
returned alive from Carthage. Or, since this had been decreed for him by
fate, I wish that you, Rufinus, hadn't hindered his final judgment. How
he'd have thanked me, either in person or in his will! Still, he sent me
letters in advance from Carthage, even in his arrival there. Some were
written when he was still healthy, some when already ill -- letters full
of honor, full of affection. Please, Maximus, allow them to be read aloud
for a short space, so that his brother, my accuser, might know how he is
inferior in all ways to his brother -- that runs the race of life with a
man remembered as excellent.
||Pontianus ipse quod a matre donatum acceperat meo muneri acceptum
ferebat, Pontianus me uitricum sibi contigisse intimis affectionibus
laetabatur. quod utinam incolumis Carthagine reuertisset. uel, quoniam sic
ei fuerat fato decretum, utinam tu, Rufine, supremum eius iudicium non
impedisses. quas mihi aut coram aut denique in testamento gratias egisset.
litteras tamen, quas ad me Carthagine[m] uel iam adueniens ex itinere
praemisit, quas adhuc ualidus, quas iam aeger, plenas honoris, plenas
amoris, quaeso, Maxime, paulisper recitari sinas, ut sciat frater eius,
accusator meus, quam in omnibus minor u[it]ae curriculum cum fratre
optumae memoriae uiro[c] currat. -- |
| Did you hear
the names which your brother Pontianus gave me? He called me his father,
his master, his teacher, at other times and at the end of his life?
|| Audistine uocabula, quae mihi
Pontianus frater tuus tribuerat me parentem suum, me dominum, me magistrum
cum saepe alias, tum in extremo te[m]pore uitae uocans, postquam * * * ;
|I'd bring out similar letters from you, if I actually
thought that a little delay was worth so much.
||tuas quoque paris epistolas promerem, si uel exiguam moram tanti
|I would particularly like for the recent will of your
brother, although unfinished, be brought forward anyway. In it, he
remembers me most dutifully and respectfully. And yet, Rufinus didn't
allow this will to be prepared or executed because of the disgrace of the
lost inheritance, which he figured was the high price of a few months of
being father-in- law to Pontianus.
||potius testamentum illud recens tui fratris quamquam inperfectum tamen
proferri cuperem, in quo mei officiosissime et honestissime meminit. quod
tamen testamentum Rufinus neque comparari neque perfici passus est pudore
perditae hereditatis, quam [praemium] paucorum mensium, quibus socer
Pontiani fuit, magno quidem pretio noctium computarat. |
|Plus, he'd consulted with some Chaldeans about how he
might marry his daughter off for money. As I hear it, they gave an answer
that I wish hadn't been true: that her first husband would die in a few
months. No doubt they made up the rest about the inheritance in response
to their client's wish, as they usually do. And in fact, as the gods
wished, he opened his gaping maw in vain, like a blind wild beast. For
Pontianus not only did not designate Rufinus's daughter as an heir, since
he found out that she was evil, but he didn't even assign a decent
bequest. It seems that he had linen worth about two hundred pennies left
to her to disgrace her. In this way, it would be understood that he set a
value on her in anger, not that he forgot and passed over her. In this
will, as in the earlier one (which was read), he appointed as his heirs
his mother and brother. As you can see, Rufinus brings the same trick (his
daughter) to the boy and hurls this woman -- much older and a recent widow
of his brother besides -- at the poor kid and knocks him flat.
||praeterea nescio quos Chaldaeos consuluerat, quo lucro filiam
collocaret, qui, ut audio, utinam illud non uere respondissent, primum
eius maritum in paucis mensibus moriturum; cetera enim de hereditate, ut
adsolent, ad consulentis uotum confinxerunt. uerum, ut dii uoluere, quasi
caeca bestia in cassum hiauit. Pontianus enim filiam Rufini male compertam
non modo heredem non reliquit, sed ne honesto quidem legato impertiuit,
quippe qui ei ad ignominiam lintea adscribi ducentorum fere denariorum
iusserit, ut intellegeretur iratus potius aestimasse eam quam oblitus
praeterisse. scribsit autem heredes tam hoc testamento quam priore, quod
lectum est, matrem cum fratre, cui, ut uides, admodum puero eandem illam
filiae suae machinam Rufinus admouet ac mulierem aliquam multo natu
maiorem, nuperrime uxorem fratris, misero puero obicit et obsternit.
| But Pudens was
captivated and possessed by the slut's charms and by the tempting lures of
her pimp father. After his brother died, he moved to his uncle's,
abandoning his mother, so that with us out of the way they could complete
the things they had started more easily. For Aemilianus sides with Rufinus
and wants to win. Oh, you give good advice: the good uncle weaves his own
hope into this plan and looks after it. He knows that he would be a more
legitimate heir of a boy without a will than he would be as an heir-to-be.
|| A[i]t ille puellae meretricis
blandimentis et lenonis patris illectamentis captus et possessus, exinde
ut frater eius animam edidit, relicta matre ad patruum commigrauit, quo
facilius remotis nobis coepta perficerentur; fauet enim Rufino Aemilianus
et prouentum cupit. -- ehem, recte uos ammonetis: etiam suam spem bonus
patruus temperat in isto ac fouet, qui sciat intestati pueri legitimum
magis quam iustum heredem futurum. |
|By Hercules, I would've preferred that this didn't come
from me. It wasn't fitting for a person as moderate as I am to burst out
openly with everyone's silent suspicions. You who suggested it did a bad
||nollem hercule hoc a me profectum; non fuit meae moderationis tacitas
omnium suspiciones palam abrumpere; male uos, qui sugge[s]sistis. |
|If you want the truth, Aemilianus, many people are
wondering openly about your oh-so-sudden devotion to that boy. Before his
brother Pontianus died, you were so unknown to him that often, you
wouldn't recognize your brother's son by sight when you ran across him.
But now, you indulge him, and you corrupt him so greatly that you resist
him in nothing. Through these actions, you confirm people's suspicions.
||plane quidem, si [p]uerum uelis, multi mirantur, Aemiliane, tam
repentinam circa puerum istum pietatem tuam, postquam frater eius
Pontianus est mortuus, cum antea tam ignotus illi fueris, ut saepe ne in
occursu quidem filium fratris tui de facie agnosceres. at nunc adeo
patientem te ei praebes itaque eum indulgentia corrumpis, adeo ei nulla re
aduersare, ut per haec suspicacioribus fidem facias. |
|You took him from us as a boy; instantly, you made him a
man. When he was guided by us, he went to school: now, with a flurried
farewell he dashes into a dive and scorns serious friends. Though still a
boy, he throws banquets with the most awful kids, with whores and goblets
all around him. Pudens is the ruler of your house, he is the master of
your household, he is the chief at the banquet. Also, as a frequent
visitor to the gladiatorial school (as a res-pec-table boy, of course), he
learns the names of the gladiators, of the fights, and of the wounds from
the trainer himself. He never speaks except in Punic or something in Greek
which he imitates from his mother -- he doesn't want and isn't able to
speak Latin. You heard a little earlier, Maximus (the shame of it!) my
stepson Pudens, brother of that articulate young man Pontianus, butchering
single syllables with difficulty when you asked him whether his mother had
given him the gifts which I said she'd given with my consent.
||inuestem a nobis accepisti: uesticipem ilico reddidisti; cum a nobis
regeretur, ad magistros itabat: ab iis nunc magna fugela in ganeum fugit,
amicos serios aspernatur, cum adulescentulis postremissumis inter scorta
et pocula puer hoc aeui conuiuium agitat. ipse domi tuae rector, ipse
familiae dominus, ipse magister conuiuio; in ludo quoque gladiatorio
frequens uisi[ta]tor nomina gladiatorum et pugnas et uulnera plane quidem
ut puer honestus ab ipso lanista docetur; loquitur nunquam nisi Punice et
si quid adhuc a matre graecissat; enim Latine loqui neque uult neque
potest. audisti, Maxime, paulo ante, pro nefas, priuignum meum, fratrem
Pontiani, diserti iuuenis, uix singulas syllabas fringultientem, cum ab eo
quaereres, dona[s]setne illis mater quae ego dicebam me adnitente donata.
| I call you to
witness, Claudius Maximus, and you, who are in the council, and also you,
who stand with me at the tribunal, that these injuries and disgraces to
his morals must be charged to his uncle and to the candidate hoping to be
his father-in-law. I'd consider it a good thing that such a stepson threw
the burden of my attention off his back, and from now on I won't entreat
his mother on his behalf.
||estor igitur te, Claudi Maxime, uosque, qui in consilio estis, uosque
etiam, qui tribunal mecum adsistitis, haec damna et dedecora morum eius
patruo huic et candidato illo socero adsignanda meque posthac boni
consulturum, quod talis priuignus curae meae iugum ceruice excusserit,
neque postea pro eo matri eius supplicaturum. |
|Oh, I almost forgot. Very recently, when Pudentilla was in
poor health after the death of her son Pontianus, she wrote a will. I
struggled against her for a long time, so that she wouldn't disinherit
Pudens because of so many conspicuous insults, so many injuries. By
heaven, I begged her with earnest pleas to get rid of the most serious
clause, already all written out. Finally, I threatened that if I didn't
obtain the following things from her, I would leave her:
||nam, quod paenissime oblitus sum, nuperrime cum testamentum Pudentilla
post mortem Pontiani filii sui in mala ualetudine scrib[s]eret, diu sum
aduersus illam renisus, ne hunc ob tot insignis contumelias, ob tot
iniurias exheredaret; elogium grauissimum iam totum medius fidius
perscriptum ut aboleret, impensis precibus oraui[t]; postremo, ni
impetrarem, diuersurum me ab ea comminatus sum: |
|that she grant this favor to me, that she conquer her bad
son with kindness, that she free me from being the object of envy.
||mihi hanc ueniam tribueret, malum filium beneficio uinceret, me
inuidia omni liberaret. |
|I didn't stop until she did it.
||nec prius destiti quam ita fecit. |
|I grieve that I took this uneasy feeling away from
Aemilianus, that I proclaimed the matter to him so unexpectedly. Please
note, Maximus, that when he heard these things, he was suddenly struck
dumb, his face fell. He had supposed (and not without cause) that it would
be much worse. He knew that the woman was poisoned by the insults of her
son and was strongly attached to my love.
||doleo me huncce scrupulum Aemiliano dempsisse, tam inopinatam rem ei
indicasse. specta quaeso, Maxime, ut hisce auditis subito obstipuerit, ut
oculos ad terram demiserit; enim longe sequius ratus fuerat, nec inmerito:
mulierem filii contumeliis infectam, meis officiis deuinctam sciebat.
|Regarding me, too, there was what to fear: even if they
cared as little as I do for a bequest, most people still wouldn't have
turned up their noses at revenge on such an irresponsible stepson.
||de me quoque fuit quod timeret: quiuis uel aeque ut ego spernens
hereditatis tamen uindicari de tam inofficioso priuigno non recusasset.
|And here's what they were most afraid of, and what made
them accuse me: because of their own greed, they wrongly figured that the
entire inheritance had been left to me. Let me relieve your concern for
the past. In fact, I was swayed neither by the prospect of obtaining the
inheritance nor by the thought of revenge. I fought with an angry mother
-- a stepfather fighting for an evil stepson, just as a father would fight
with a stepmother for a good son. And even that wasn't enough for me. I
also curbed my good wife's liberal generosity towards me, well beyond the
point of fairness.
||haec praecipue sollicitudo eos ad accusationem mei stimulauit:
hereditatem omnem mihi relictam falso ex sua auaritia coniectauere. soluo
uos in praeteritum isto metu. namque animum meum neque hereditatis neque
ultionis occasio potuit loco demouere. pugnaui cum irata matre pro
priuigno malo uitricus, ueluti pater pro optimo filio aduersus nouercam,
nec satis fuit, ni bonae uxoris prolixam liberalitatem circa me nimio plus
aequo coercerem. |
| Bring out
the will! The boy's mother when she was already at odds with her son. My
opponents call me a pirate; yet, it was I who pleadingly dictated every
single word. Order those documents opened, Maximus: you'll find that the
son is her heir. A trifling amount was bequeathed to me as a token of
esteem, so that if her son were to suffer a fatal accident, I would have
my name on my wife's papers as her husband. Accept this as the will of
your mother, a will that's truly irresponsible. Why? Because in this will
she disinherited her very devoted husband, designated a most inimical son
as her heir -- no, not even a son but Aemilianus's hopes and the marriage
arranged by Rufinus, your drunken gang of parasites.
|| Cedo tu testamentum iam inimico filio
a matre factum me, quem isti praedonem dicunt, uerba singula cum precibus
praeeunte[m]. rumpi tabulas istas iube, Maxime: inuenies filium heredem,
mihi uero tenue nescio quid honoris gratia legatum, ne, si quid ei
humanitus attigisset, nomen maritus in uxoris tabulis non haberem. cape
ist[a]ut matris tuae testamentum, uere hoc quidem inofficiosum; qui[d]ni?
in quo obsequentissimum maritum exheredauit, inimicissimum filium scribsit
heredem, immo enimuero non filium, sed Aemiliani spes et Rufini nuptias,
set temulentum illud collegium, parasitos tuos. |
|Take the will, I say, you son of sons; lay aside your
mother's love letters for a little while and read this, instead. If she
wrote anything while not in her right mind, you'll find it here starting
right from the beginning:
||accipe, inquam, filiorum optime, et positis paulisper epistulis
amatoriis matris lege potius testamentum: si quid quasi insana scripsit,
hic reperies et quidem mox a principio: |
|"My son Sicinius Pudens is to be my heir."
||'Sicinius Pudens filius meus mihi heres esto'. |
|I've got to admit, anyone who reads this will think it's
||fateor, qui ho[c] legerit insanum putabit. |
|--This son, the heir, =>who invited a gang of depraved
youths to his brothers funeral, but planned to shut you out of the home
which you yourself gave him, =>who was bitter and resentful that you
were designated by his brother as coinheritor with himself, =>who
immediately abandoned you with your grief and mourning and ran off from
your arms to Rufinus and Aemilianus, =>who afterwards repeatedly
insulted you to your face and did so with the help of his paternal uncle,
=>who bandied about your name before the courts, =>who with your own
letters tried to disgrace you publicly, =>who accused your husband --
the man whom you had chosen and whom you loved passionately, as he himself
objected -- of a capital crime?
||hicine filius heres, qui te in ipso fratris sui funere aduocata
perditissimorum iuuenum manu uoluit excludere e domo quam ipsa donaueras,
qui te sibi a fratre coheredem relictam grauiter et acerbe tulit, qui
confestim te cum tuo luctu et maerore deseruit et ad Rufinum et Aemilianum
de sinu tuo aufugit, qui [t]ibi plurimas postea contumelias dixit coram et
adiuuante patruo fecit, qui nomen tuum pro tribunalibus uentilauit, qui
pudorem tuum tuismet litteris conatus est publice dedecorare, qui
maritu[m] tuum, quem elegeras, quem, ut ipse obiciebat, efflictim amabas,
capitis accusauit? |
|Please, dear boy, open the will. By doing so you will
easily prove your mother's insanity.
||aperi quaeso, bone puer, aperi testamentum: facilius insaniam matris
sic probabis. |
| Why do you
shake your head, why do you refuse, now that you're no longer worry over
your mother's legacy? But now, Maximus, I hurl these papers at your feet
-- and I declare that, from now on, I'll be indifferent to whatever
Pundentilla writes in her will. Let him prevail on his mother by himself
from now on -- after all, he's left me no opportunity to intercede for
him. He had the nerve to dictate offensive letters to his mother on his
own, so let him mollify her anger on his own. If he can plead, he'll
||Quid abnuis, quid recusas, postquam sollicitudinem de hereditate
materna reppulisti? at ego hasce tabulas, Maxime, hic ibidem pro pedibus
tuis abicio testorque me deinceps incuriosius habiturum, quid Pudentilla
testamento suo scribat. ipse iam, ut libet, matrem suam de cetero exoret:
mihi, ut ultra pro eo deprecer, locum non reliquit. ipse iam, ut [qui] sui
potens ac uir acerbissimas litteras matri dictet, iram eius deleniat; qui
potuit perorare, poterit exorare. mihi iam dudum satis est, si non modo
crimina obiecta plenissime dilui, uerum etiam radicem iudicii huius, id
est hereditatis quaesitae inuidiam, funditus sustuli. |
|And after all this, I'm not satisfied unless I've not only
completely rebutted the charges against me, but have also uprooted the
seeds of these proceedings -- namely, jealous inheritance-grubbing.
|Now, I'm going to rebut your false charge, so that I don't
appear to be neglecting anything before I finish. You've said that I
bought a fabulous estate in my own name using my wife's money.
||Illud etiam, [c] ne quid omnium praeteream, priusquam peroro, falso
obiectum reuincam. dixistis me magna pecunia mulieris pulcherrimum
praedium meo nomine emisse. |
|And yet, I maintain that it wasn't me, but Pudentilla, who
bought a small estate in her own name for sixty thousand sesterces -- that
it's Pudentilla's name on the deed -- and that the tax on this little plot
is paid in Pudentilla's name. Corvinius Celer is present; he's the
distinguished public quaestor to whom it was paid. The woman's guardian is
also present, a most respected and faultless man, whom I name with all due
respect: Cassius Longinus. Maximus, ask whose purchase he approved, and
how much the wealthy woman paid for her small plot of land.
||dico exiguum herediolum LX milibus nummum, id quoque non me, sed
Pudentillam suo nomine emisse, Pudentillae nomen in tabulis esse,
Pudentillae nomine pro eo agello tributum dependi. praesens est quaestor
publicus, cui depensum est, Coruinius Celer, uir ornatus; adest etiam
tutor auctor mulieris, uir grauissimus et sanctissimus, omni cum honore
mihi nominandus, Cassius Longinus. quaere, Maxime, cuius emptionis auctor
fuerit, quantulo pretio mulier locuples agellum suum praestinarit. -
|[Testimony is given by the guardian Cassius Longinus and
the quaestor Corvinius Clemens.]
||[testimonium Cassi Longini tutoris et Coruini Clementis quaestor(is)]
|Isn't it just as I've said? Is my name written anywhere in
this transaction? Is the price of the small estate something to begrudge
-- and was it reported to me, anyhow?
||Estne ita ut dixi? uspiam in hac emptione nomen meum ascriptum est?
num ipsum heredioli pretium inuidiosum est, num uel hoc saltem in me
| What's left,
Aemilianus, that I still haven't refuted, by your judgment?
|| Quid etiam est, Aemiliane, quod non
te iudice refutauerim? |
|Did you discover the value of my magic? So why would I be
trying to seduce Pudentilla with sorcery? What would I have hoped to gain
from her -- a modest dowry rather than a large one? What brilliant magic
spells! Or maybe I was hoping she would demand the return of this dowry to
her sons instead of leaving it with me? What could be added to this magic?
Maybe that she'd give her sons the greater part of her estate, on my
advice, but not give a share to me -- even though she'd bequeathed none of
it to them before our marriage? What breathtaking conjuring -- or should I
say, what an unwelcome kindness! Or was it my hope that in her will, which
she wrote in anger toward her son, she would designate as her heir a son
she was angry with, instead of me, to whom she was much closer?
||quod pretium magiae meae repperisti? cur ergo Pudentillae animum
ueneficiis flecterem? quod ut ex ea commodum caperem? uti dotem mihi
modicam potius quam a[m]mpla[m] diceret? o praeclara carmina. an ut eam
dotem filiis suis magis restipularetur quam penes me sineret? quid addi ad
hanc magiam potest? an uti rem familiarem suam meo adhortatu pleramque
filiis condonasset, quae nihil illis ante me maritum fuerat largita, mihi
[nihil] quicquam impertiret? o graue ueneficium dicam an ingratum
beneficium. an ut testamento, quod irata filio scribebat, filium potius,
cui offensa erat, quam me, cui deuincta, heredem relinqueret? |
|Let me tell you, I had a lot of trouble making this happen
-- it took sooo many magic spells.
||hoc quidem multis cantaminibus difficile impetraui. |
|Imagine that you're not conducting this case before
Claudius Maximus, a fair man who clings to justice. Instead, replace him
with some other judge who's crooked and cruel, who champions accusations
and is eager to condemn. Give him a course to follow -- even the least
opportunity, disguised as truth, to deliver a verdict in your favor. Make
something up, at least -- think up some answer to this.
||putate uos causam non apud Cl(audium) Maximum agere, uirum aequum et
iustitiae pertinacem, sed alium aliquem prauum et saeuum iudicem
substituite, accusationum fautorem, cupidum condem[p]nandi: date ei quod
sequatur, ministrate uel tantulam uerisimilem occasionem secundum uos
pronuntiandi; saltim fingite aliquid, eminiscimini quod respondeatis, qui
uos ita rogarit. |
|And since there has to be a motive before any attempted
action, riddle me this: if you're claiming that Apuleius seduced
Pudentilla with magic charms, what did he wanted to get from her?
||et quoniam omnem conatum necesse est quaepiam causa praecedat,
respondete qui Apuleium dicitis animum Pudentillae magicis illectamentis
ad[h]ortum, quid ex ea petierit, |
|Why did he do it?
||cur fecerit. |
|Did he want her for her beauty? No, you say. Ok, then, did
he at least want her money?
||formam eius uoluerat? negatis. diuitias saltim concupierat? |
|The property deed says no, the inheritance documents say
no, the will says no,
||negant tabulae dotis, negant tabulae donationis, negant tabulae
|-- and in the will, it's clear that not only didn't he
have greedy ambitions, but that he even firmly refused his wife's
generosity. So what other motive is there?
||in quibus non modo non cupide appetisse, uerum etiam dure reppulisse
liberalitatem suae uxoris [h]ostenditur. quae igitur alia causa est?
|Why so speechless? Why are you silent?
||quid ommutuistis? quid tacetis? |
|Where is that indictment with its savage beginning, drawn
up in the name of my stepson? "My lord Maximus, I have initiated before
you the trial of this man."
||ubi illud libelli uestri atrox principium nomine priuigni mei
form[orm]atum: 'hunc ego, domine Maxime, reum apud te facere institui'?
| So why not
add: ". . . my master, my stepfather, my champion"? But what then? ". . .
a perpetrator of many egregious crimes." So, show us one. Give us
something doubtful or obscure from those "egregious crimes."
||quin igitur addis; 'reum magistrum, reum uitricum, reum deprecatorem'?
sed quid deinde? 'plurimorum maleficiorum et manifestissimorum'. |
|And to these c-o-p-i-o-u-s complaints that you've made, I
reply with, count 'em, two words.
||cedo unum de plurimis, cedo dubium uel saltem obscurum de
manifestissimis. ceterum ad haec, quae obiecistis, numera an binis uerbis
||'dentes sp[l]endidas': |
||ignosce munditiis. |
|"You look in mirrors!"
||'specula inspicis': |
||debet philosophus. |
|"You write poetry!"
||'uersus facis': |
||licet fieri. |
|"You study fish!"
||'pisces exploras': |
||Aristoteles docet. |
|"You consecrate wood!"
||'lignum consecras': |
||Plato suadet. |
|"You marry a woman --"
||'uxorem ducis': |
||leges iubent. |
|"-- younger than you!"
||'prior natu is[ta] est': |
||solet fieri. |
|"You're a money-grubber!"
||'lucrum sectatus es': |
|The dowry. The donation. The will.
||dotalis accipe, donationem recordare, testamentum lege. |
|If I have blunted all the complaints,
||quae si omnia affatim retudi, |
|If I have refuted all the false accusations,
||si calumnias omnes refutaui, |
|If I have completely exonerated myself of guilt in
everything, not only in the charges but also in the insults,
||si me in omnibus non modo criminibus, uerum etiam maledictis procul a
culpa [philosophiae] tutus sum, |
|If I have never detracted from the honor of philosophy,
which is more important to me than my life, but kept it inviolate,
||si philosophiae honorem, qui mihi salute mea antiquior est, nusquam
minui, immo contra ubique |
|If these facts are as I say, I can revere your judgment
with peace of mind, and not fear your power, because I consider it less
fearful and formidable to be condemned seriously by a proconsul than to be
condemned wrongfully by so good and faultless a man.
||si cum septem pennis eum tenui: si haec, ut dico, ita sunt, possum
securus existimationem tuam reuereri quam potestatem uereri, quod minus
graue et uerendum mihi arbitror a[c] procons(ule) damnari quam si a tam
bono tamque emendato uiro improber. |
|I rest my case.