|But I digress. As soon as Pudentilla saw that her son had
been corrupted because of an opinion contrary to her own, she set out for
the country and wrote him that letter we all know about to correct him.
Those men of yours said that in this letter, she confessed that she was
out of her senses when my magic seduced her.
||sed ne longius ab ordine digrediar: Pudentilla postquam filium uidet
praeter opinionem contra suam esse sententiam deprauatum, rus profecta
scripsit ad eum obiurgandi gratia illas famosissimas litteras, quibus, ut
isti aiebant, confessa est sese mea magia in amorem inductam dementire;
|And yet, by your order, Maximus, we copied the letter the
day before yesterday in the presence of Pontianus's secretary, with
Aemelianus countersigning, and in the presence of a witness. In the
letter, everything was found contrary to their assertion and in my favor.
||quas tamen litteras tabulario Pontiani praesente et contra scribente
Aemiliano nudius tertius tuo iussu, Maxime, testato describsimus; in
quibus omnia contra praedicationem istorum pro me reperiuntur. |
| And even if
Pudentilla did say rather sharply that I was a magician, she could well be
excusing herself to her son by using my force as an excuse rather than her
own free will. Was Phaedra the only one to compose a false letter about
love? Hasn't this art been used by all women, to make their desire appear
|| quamquam, etsi destrictius magum me
dixisset, posset uideri excusabunda se filio uim meam quam uoluntatem suam
causari maluisse. an sola Phaedra falsum epistolium de amore commenta est,
ac non omnibus mulieribus haec ars usitata est, ut, cum aliquid eius modi
uelle coeperunt, malint coactae uideri? |
|Even if she thought this way -- that I'm a magician --
should I be considered a magician for this reason? Because Pudentilla
wrote as much? You, with so many arguments and so many witnesses and so
many great words can't prove that I'm a magician. But she could prove it
in one word?!
||quod si etiam animo ita putauit, me magum esse, idcircone magus
habear, quia hoc scripsit Pudentilla? uos tot argumentis, tot testibus,
tanta oratione magum me non probatis: illa uno uerbo probaret? |
|And to think, something that's about to be prosecuted in a
court of law should be taken that much more seriously than something
written in a letter.
||et quanto tandem grauius habendum est quod in iudicio subscribitur
quam quod in epistola scribitur. |
|Convict me through my own deeds, not through someone else's
||quin tu me meismet factis, non alienis uerbis reuincis? |
|Otherwise, many other men will be arraigned before a court
as all sorts of magicians -- if what anyone writes in a letter out of love
or hatred becomes accepted as hard and fast truth.
||ceterum eadem uia multi rei cuiusuis maleficii postulabuntur, si ratum
futurum est quod quisque in epistola sua uel amore uel odio cuiuspiam
|"Pudentilla wrote that you're a magician, so you're a
||'magum te scripsit Pudentilla: igitur magus es.' |
|What if she had written that I was a consul? Would I be a
||quid, si consulem me scripsisset: consul essem? |
|What if she had written that I was a painter, say, or a
||quid enim, si pictorem, si medicum, |
|And what if she had written . . . that I was innocent?
||quid denique, si innocentem? |
|Would you believe any of these things for this reason,
because she said it?
||num aliquid horum putares idcirco, quod illa dixisset? |
|I don't think so.
||nihil scilicet. |
|But clearly, it's wrong to trust someone in nasty affairs
if you don't trust them in nicer matters, as well. In other words, it's
not at all fair that her letter has the power to harm, but not to do good.
||atqui periniurium est ei fidem in peioribus [habere, cui in
melioribus] non haberes, posse litteras eius ad perniciem, non posse ad
|"But she was out of her mind," he said. "She loved you
||'sed' inquit 'animi [furens] fuit, efflictim te amabat.' |
|Yes, ok, I'll grant this. For the moment.
||concedo interim. |
|But is every person who is beloved also a magician, if, by
chance, his lover has written as much? Now I believe that Pudentilla
didn't love me if she wrote this for others to read, because it would harm
me in public.
||num tamen omnes qui amantur magi sunt, si hoc forte qui amat
scripserit? c[r]edo nunc quod Pudentilla me in eo tempore non amabat,
siquidem id foras scripsit, quod palam erat mihi obfuturum. |
| Well, what do
you want in the end? Was she of sound mind or insane when she wrote this ?
|| postremo quid uis, sanam an insanam
fuisse, dum scriberet? |
|She was of sound mind? So she didn't suffer from magical
||sanam dices? nihil ergo erat magicis artibus passa. |
|She was insane? So she didn't know what she wrote, in
which case she's not to be trusted.
||insanam respondebis? nesciit ergo quid scribserit, eoque ei fides non
habenda est; |
|Yes, if she'd been insane, she wouldn't have known that
she was insane. This is like a person who says that he's silent and thus
speaks foolishly: by saying that he's silent, he's not silent, and he
invalidates what he's asserted through this declaration. And in this
matter of insanity, a person can be even more contradictory: "I am
insane." This isn't true, because a person can only say this knowingly.
Furthermore, if you can recognize insanity, you're sane, because insanity
can't know itself any more than blindness can see itself.
||immo etiam, si fuisset insana, insanam se esse nescisset. nam ut
absurde facit qui tacere se dicit, quod ibidem dicendo tacere sese non
tacet et ipsa professione quod profitetur infirmat, ita uel magis hoc
repugnat: 'ego insanio', quod uerum non est, nisi sciens dicit; porro
sanus est, qui scit quid sit insania, quippe insania scire se non potest,
non magis quam caecitas se uidere. |
|Therefore, Pudentilla was sane if she didn't think she was
||igitur Pudentilla compos mentis fuit, si compotem mentis se non
|I could continue with more things, if I wanted, but let me
end these dialectics. I'll read aloud this letter I've been talking about,
which exclaims another thing at length, as if it were intentionally
prepared and fitted to this farce. Take it and read it until I begin
||possum, si uelim, pluribus, sed mitto dialectica. ipsas litteras longe
aliud clamantis et quasi dedita opera ad iudicium istud praeparatas et
accommodatas recitabo. accipe tu et lege, usque dum ego interloquar.
|Let's hold off on the remaining things for a minute --
we've come to a crucial point in the matter. For as far as I can see,
Maximus, until this point, the woman has mentioned magic nowhere by name.
Instead, she's repeated the same series of events that I mentioned a short
while ago: her widowhood, the remedy for her ill-health, her desire to
marry, my good points, which she had learned from Pontianus, his advising
her to marry me in particular.
||Sustine paulisper quae secuntur; nam ad deuerticulum rei uentum est.
adhuc enim, Maxime, quantum equidem animaduerti, nusquam mulier magiam
nominauit, sed ordinem repetiuit eundem, quem ego paulo prius, de longa
uiduitate, de remedio ualetudinis, de uoluntate nubendi, de meis laudibus,
quas ex Pontiano cognouerat, de suasu ipsius, ut mihi potissimum nuberet.
| This is what's
been read so far. The remaining part of the letter was similarly written
on my behalf, but it turns the chief arguments against me. This letter,
which was intended to drive the charge of magic away from me, was
neglected intentionally. With remarkable praise, Rufinus changed this. He
also changed the opinion of certain Oeans toward me into the opposite of
what it had been -- as if he'd procured a magician!
|| Haec usque adhuc lecta sunt. superest
ea pars epistulae, quae similiter pro me scripta in memet ipsum uertit
cornua, ad expellendum a me crimen magiae sedulo [o]missa memorabili laude
Rufini uice[m] mutauit et ultro contrariam mihi opinionem quorundam
Oeensium quasi mago quaesiuit. |
|Maximus, you've heard much from those speaking, and you've
learned even more by reading, and you've ascertained quite a few things by
experience. But I'm sure you'll say that you've never known such deceitful
cunning, composed with such appalling wickedness. What Palamedes? What
Sisyphus? What Eurybates or Phrynondas? . . . could have devised such a
plan! If any of these characters (or any others who should be mentioned
for their guile) were measured against this one trick of Rufinus, they'd
be pathetic fools.
||multa fando, Maxime, audisti, etiam plura legendo didicisti, non pauca
experiendo comperisti: sed enim uersutiam tam insidiosam, tam admirabili
scelere conflatam negabis te umquam cognouisse. quis Palamedes, qui[s]
Sisyphus, quis denique Eurybates aut Phrynondas talem excogitasset? omnes
isti quos nominaui et si qui praeterea fuerunt dolo memorandi, si cum hac
una Rufini fallacia contendantur, macc[h]i prorsus et bucc[h]ones
|Such shocking falsehood! Such cunning!
||o mirum commentum! |
|Worthy of prisons and deep dungeons!
||o subtilitas digna carcere et robore! |
|Who would believe it? A defense, transformed into an
accusation by the same letter? By Hercules!
||quis credat effici potuisse, ut quae defensio fuerat, eadem manentibus
eisdem litteris in accusationem transuerteretur? est hercule |
|But I'll show you how this unbelievable event happened.
||sed hoc incredibile qui sit factum, probabo. |
rebuked her son, saying that he'd suddenly decided that I was a magician
just as Rufinus said, when he'd insisted before that I was such an
excellent guy. Her words ran like this:
|| Obiurgatio erat matris ad filium, quod
me, talem uirum qualem sibi praedicasset, nunc de Rufini sententia magum
dictitaret. uerba ipsa ad hunc modum se habebant: |
|"Apuleius is a magician: I've been magicked by him and
I'm in love. So come to me, while I'm still of sound mind."
||*A)POLE/I..OS MA/GOS, KAI] E)GW\ U(P' AU)TOU= MEMA/GEUMAI KAI\
E)RW=. E)LQE\ TOI/NUN PRO\S E)ME/, E(/WS E)'TI SWFRONW=. |
|These very words which I've quoted in Greek were quoted
alone and out of context. Rufinus circulated the woman's "confession" and,
leading a sobbing Pontianus through the forum, presented the boy and the
letter to the crowd. He allowed this letter to be read in the way that I
mentioned, concealing the other parts written above and below his
selection: he kept saying that they were more shameful than the parts
presented -- and that it was enough that the woman's confession about
magic be made public.
||haec ipsa uerba Rufinus quae Graece interposui sola excerpta et ab
ordine suo seiugata quasi confessionem mulieris circumferens et Pontianum
flentem per forum ductans uulgo ostendebat, ipsas mulieris litteras
illatenus qua dixi legendas praebebat, cetera supra et infra scribta
occultabat; turpiora esse quam ut ostenderentur dictitabat: satis esse
confessionem mulieris de magia cognosci. |
|Why do you ask about this? They all found it likely
enough. And so, the same things which were written for the sake of
exonerating me stirred up such strong hatred of me among ignorant people.
This wicked man, raving like a Maenad, caused a disturbance in the middle
of the forum. Constantly folding and unfolding the letter, he kept
||quid quaeris? uerisimile omnibus uisum; quae purgandi mei gratia
scripta erant, eadem mihi immanem inuidiam apud imperitos conciuere.
turbabat impurus hic in medio foro bacchabundus, epistulam saepe aperiens
|"Apuleius is a magician! The woman who suffers from it
says so herself!"
||'Apuleius magus; dicit ipsa quae sentit et patitur; quid uultis
|What more do you want? There was no one who would step
forward on my behalf and respond like this: "Please, let's hear the whole
letter! Let me look it over without all this commotion; let me read it
through from beginning to end. There are many things which might distort
the truth when taken out of context. Any speech at all can be made suspect
if the issues which are woven from what comes before them are cheated of
their own introduction -- if certain parts of the letter's narrative are
concealed on a whim -- and if what was said ironically is read straight."
The letter's whole narrative will show how much these things warranted
||nemo erat qui pro me ferret ac sic responderet: 'totam sodes epistulam
cedo: sine omnia inspiciam, [a] principio ad finem perlegam. multa sunt,
quae sola prolata calumniae possint uideri obnoxia. cuiauis oratio
insimulari potest, si ea quae ex prioribus nexa sunt principio sui
defrudentur, si quaedam ex ordine scriptorum ad lubidinem supprimantur, si
quae simulationis causa dicta sunt adseuerantis pronuntiatione quam
exprobrantis legantur'. haec et id genus ea quam merito tunc dici
potuerunt; ipse ordo epistulae ostendat. |
Aemelianus, recall now whether you'd transcribed the following with me as
|| At tu, Aemiliane, recognosce, an et
haec mecum testato descripseris: |
|"For I wanted to get married for the reasons which I
mentioned. Since you admired this man and were eager that a family
relationship be forged for you by me, you persuaded me to choose him
before all others. But now because our malicious accusers mislead you,
suddenly Apuleius has become a magician. I've been bewitched by him and
I'm in love. So come to me while I'm still of sound mind."
||BOULOME/NHN GA/R ME DI' A(\S EI)=PON AI)TI/AS GAMHQH=NAI, AU)TO\S
E)/PEISAS TOU=TON A)NTI\ PA/NTWN AI(REI=SQAI, QAUMA/ZWN TO\N A)/NDRA KAI\
SPOUDA/ZWN AU)TO\N OI)KEI=ON U(MI=N DI' E)MOU= POIEI=SQAI. NU=N DE\ W(S
KATOROI H(MW=N MA/GOS, KAI\ E)GW\ MEMA/GEUMAI U(P' AU)TOU= KAI\ E)RW=.
E)LQE\ TOI/NUN PRO\S E)ME/, E(/WS E)/TI SWFRONW=. |
|Since letters are sometimes said to have the power of
speech, Maximus, I ask you this: if the letter had actually employed its
own voice, if words equipped with wings (as the poets say) could fly like
this before the whole world -- if this were so, then when Rufinus first
made selections from that letter dishonestly, read a few words, and then
intentionally omitted many more favorable words, wouldn't the other
letters have cried out then that they were being held back by a scoundrel?
||Oro te, Maxime, si litterae ita, ut partim uocales dicuntur, etiam
propriam uocem usurparent, si uerba ita, ut poetae aiunt, pinnis apta
uulgo uolarent, nonne, cum primum epistolam istam Rufinus mala fide
excerperet, pauca legeret, multa et meliora sciens reticeret, nonne tunc
ceterae litterae sceleste se detineri proclamassent, |
|Wouldn't the hidden words have flown out of Rufinus's
||uerba suppressa de Rufini manibus foras euolassent, |
|Wouldn't they have risen up in rebellion and filled the
||totum forum tumultu complessent: |
|Wouldn't they have said that they too had been sent by
Pudentilla, that they'd been commanded to say that the crowd should not
listen to the shameless and wicked man trying to make a false accusation
with those other words, and that the crowd should listen to them instead?
Wouldn't they have said that Apuleius hadn't been accused of magic by
Pudentilla, but that he'd in fact been acquitted by Rufinus while he was
trying to accuse him?
||'se quoque a Pudentilla missas, sibi etiam quae dicerent mandata;
improbo ac nefario homini per alienas litteras falsum facere temptanti nec
auscultarent, sibi potius audirent; Apuleium magiae non accusatum a
Pudentilla, sed accusante Rufino absolutum'? |
|Although all these things weren't said then, they appear
brighter than daylight now, when they're even more useful to me.
||quae omnia etsi tum dicta non sunt, tamen nunc, cum magis prosunt,
luce inlustrius apparent. |
|Your immoral conduct is exposed, Rufinus.
||patent artes tuae, Rufine, |
|Your deceptions are out in the open.
||fraudes hiant, |
|Your lie has been exposed. Truth, once distorted, now
comes forward, and falsehood goes for a little ride . . .
||detectum mendacium est: ueritas olim interuersa nun[c] se fert et
uelut alto barathro calumnia se mergit. |
appealed to Pudentilla's letter. If you'd also like to hear the conclusion
of the letter which gives me the victory, I won't hold out on you. Read
the words with which the bewitched, senseless, crazy, lovesick woman
finished the letter:
|| Ad litteras Pudentillae prouocastis:
litteris uinco, quarum si uultis extremam quoque clausulam audire, non
inuidebo. dic tu, quibus uerbis epistulam finierit mulier obcantata,
uecors, amens, amans: |
|"I have not been bewitched, nor am I in love. This is
||*E)GW\ OU)/TE MEMA/GEUMAI OU)/[TE]T' E)RW=.
TH\N EI(MARME/NHN E)KF. |
|Should there be more? Pudentilla cries out against you and
defends her sanity from your tricks through a public proclamation.
Moreover, she ascribes the reason for the necessity of marrying to fate.
Thus, fate has completely set magic to the side. Or perhaps I should say
that it's destroyed it entirely? What power remains in potions and spells
if fate, like a violent storm, can't be restrained or urged on?
||etiamne amplius? reclamat uobis Pudentilla et sanitatem suam a uestris
calumniis quodam praeconio uindicat nubendi autem seu rationem seu
necessitatem fato adscribit, a quo multum magia remota est uel potius
omnino sublata. quae enim relinquitur uis cantaminibus et ueneficiis, si
fatum rei cuiusque ueluti uiolentissimus torrens neque retineri potest
neque impelli? |
|Of her own free will, then, Pudentilla not only denies
that I'm a magician, but also denies that magic exists. It's a good thing
that Pontianus tended to keep his mother's letters intact; it's a good
thing that the speed of the trial kept you from changing anything in that
letter. Maximus, this goodness is your doing -- it's the benefit reaped
from your foresight. From the beginning, you anticipated their falsehoods
and refuted them with appropriate speed so that they wouldn't be
strengthened by time.
||igitur hac sententia sua Pudentilla non modo me magum, sed omnino esse
magiam negauit. bene, quod integras epistolas matris Pontianus ex more
adseruauit; bene, quod uos festinatio iudicii anteuortit, ne quid in istis
litteris ex otio nouaretis. tuum hoc, Maxime, tuaeque prouidentiae
beneficium est, quod a principio intellectas calumnias, ne corroborarentur
tempore, praecipitasti et nulla[m] impertita mora subneruiasti. |
|Imagine, now, that the mother confessed something to her
son in a private letter about love. This isn't uncommon. But Rufinus, was
it just, -- I don't mean in the sense of loyalty, but ethically just --
for the letter to be made known and exhibited to everyone . . . and by her
own son's proclamation?
||finge nunc aliquid matrem filio secretis litteris de amore, uti
adsolet, confessam. hocine uerum fuit, Rufine, hoc non dico pium, sed
saltem humanum, prouulgari eas litteras et potissimum fili praeconio
|But perhaps I'm stupid to demand that you who've lost your
own dignity preserve another's.
||sed sum[ne] ego insci[t]us, qui postulo, ut alienum pudorem conserues
qui tuum perdideris? |
| Anyhow, why do
I complain so much about the past when it's no less bitter than the
present? To think that this wretched boy of yours has been corrupted by
you to such an extent that he reads aloud his mother's letters (which he
thinks are amorous) before the proconsular tribunal in the presence of
Claudius Maximus, that most virtuous man! To think that a son criticizes
the shameful disgrace of his own mother and accuses her of love affairs
before these statues of the Emperor Pius! Who is so even-tempered that he
wouldn't be angered by this?
|| Cur autem praeterita conqueror, cum
non sint minus acerba praesentia? hocusque a uobis miserum istum puerum
deprauatum, ut matris suae epistulas quas putat amatorias pro tribunali
procons(ulari) recitet apud uirum sanctissimum Cl(audium) Maximum, ante
has imp(eratoris) Pii statuas filius matri suae pudenda exprobret stupra
et amores obiectet? quis tam est mitis quin exacerbescat? |
|Do you examine your parent's mind in these matters? Do you
watch her eyes? Do you count her sighs? Do you explore her state of mind?
Do you intercept her notes? Do you subdue her love? Do you ask what she
does in her bedroom -- not to ensure that your mother isn't a slut, but
that she isn't a woman at all? Or do you think that there's nothing in
these matters except your mother's superstition?
||tune, ultime, parentis tuae animum in istis scrutaris, oculos
obseruas, suspiritus numeras, adfectiones exploras, tabulas intercipis,
amorem reuincis? tune, quid in cubiculo agat, perquiris, ne mater tua non
dico amatrix, sed ne omnino femina aest[imetur. nihil]ne tu in ea cogitas
nisi unam parentis religionem? |
|Oh, your unlucky womb, Pudentilla!
||o infelix uterum tuum, Pudentilla, |
|Barreness would be better than children!
||o sterilitas liberis potior, |
|Oh, those lamentable ten months!
||o infausti decem menses, |
|Fourteen thankless years of widowhood!
||o ingrati XIIII anni uiduitatis! |
|I'm told that a viper creeps forward into the light after
its mother's womb has been destroyed and is thus born by parricide: in
truth, though, harsher stings are inflicted on you by your adult son while
you still live to see them. Your silence is ripped through, your dignity
is torn away, your breast is wounded, and your innmost organs are exposed.
Do you, as a good son, repay these thanks to your mother because she gave
you life, acquired your inheritance for you, and supported you for
fourteen years? Did your uncle teach you so well that if you could be sure
that your sons would be similar to you, you wouldn't dare to marry?
||uipera, ut audio, exeso matris utero in lucem proserpit atque ita
parricidio gignitur: at enim tibi a filio iam adulto acerbiores morsus
uiuenti et uidenti offeruntur. silentium tuum laniatur, pudor tuus
carpitur, pectus tuum foditur, uiscera intima protrahuntur. hascine
gratias bonus filius matri rependis ob datam uitam, ob adquisitam
hereditatem, ob XIIII annorum longas alimonias? hiscine te patruus
disciplinis erudiuit, ut, si compertum habeas filios tibi similes futuros,
non audeas ducere uxorem? |
|There is that well-known verse which goes: "I hate little
boys with wisdom before their time." But really, who wouldn't oppose and
hate such a boy -- evil before his time -- when they view him as a
monster, hardened by sin (not by the passage of time), hurtful (without
yet being in command of himself), practicing ancient evil (while still in
the bloom of youth)?
||est ille poetae uersus non ignotus: 'odi puerulos praecoqui
sapientia', sed enim malitia praecoqui puerum quis non auersetur atque
oderit, cum uideat uelut monstrum quoddam prius robustum scelere quam
tempore, ante nocentem quam potentem, uiridi pueritia, cana malitia?
|And even more painful is the fact that he causes such harm
and yet is immune to the consequences of his attacks: the boy who is too
young to be punished is still old enough to harm. To harm? Let me correct
myself! To commit this unmentionable, insufferable, grievous crime against
||uel potius hoc magis noxium, quod cum uenia perniciosus est et nondum
poenae, iam iniuriae sufficit -- iniuriae dico? immo enim sceleri aduersum
parentem nefando, immani, impetibili. |
| Because of the
common law of humanity, the Athenians didn't allow one of the letters
captured from their enemy Philip of Macedon to be read (when each letter
was going to be read in public), because it was written to his wife
Olympia. Instead, they spared their enemy rather than divulge a marital
secret, considering the rights common to all mankind preferable to the
right of private vengeance.
|| Athenienses quidem propter commune ius
humanitatis ex captiuis epistulis Philippi Macedonis hostis sui unam
epistulam, cum singulae publice legerentur, recitari prohibuerunt, quae
erat ad uxorem Olympiadem conscripta; hosti potius pepercerunt, ne
maritale secretum diuulgarent, praeferendum rati fas commune propriae
|This is how enemies acted against their enemy. And how do
you act, as a son opposing your mother? You see the similarity.
||tales hostes aduersum hostem: tu qualis filius aduersum matrem. uides,
quam similia contendam. |
|And yet, you, the son, read your mother's letters --
written out of love, as you say -- in this assembly. You wouldn't dare, if
you were instructed, to read, say, dirty poems in this assembly; no, you'd
be restrained by some sense of decency. So if you'd really gotten your
mother's letters, you'd never have gotten them here.
||tu tamen filius matris epistulas de amore, ut ais, scriptas in isto
coetu legis, in quo si aliquem poetam lasciuiorem iubereris legere,
profecto non auderes; pudore tamen aliquo impedirere. immo enim nunquam
matris tuae litteras attigisses, si ullas alias litteras attigisses.
|Moreover, you've even dared to give a letter of your very
own to this assembly, a letter about your mother written most
irreverently, abusively and dishonorably, when you were being nourished at
her breast. You had sent it secretly to Pontianus -- apparently, so that
you wouldn't have sinned only once and so that your great good deed might
not have been snatched away from close scrutiny. Poor kid, you don't even
understand why your uncle allowed this. He wanted to clear himself, and he
could, if it were known from your letters that even before you had moved
to his house -- even while you were treating your mother to your soft
words -- that even then you were as shifty as a fox and just as disloyal.
||at quam ausus es tuam ipsius epistulam legendam dare, quam nimis
irreuerenter, nimis contumeliose et turpiter de matre tua scriptam, cum
adhuc in eius sinu alerere, miseras clanculo ad Pontianum, scilicet ne
semel peccasses ac tam bonum tuum factum optutu capesseret. miser, non
intellegis iccirco patruum tuum hoc fieri passum, quod se hominibus
purgaret, si ex litteris tuis nosceretur te etiam prius, quam ad eum
commigrasses, etiam cum matri blandirere, tamen iam tum uolpionem et
impium fuisse. |
| Anyhow, I
can't wrap my mind around the idea that Aemilianus is such a fool -- to
conclude that the letters of a boy who is also my accuser would be
damaging to me?!
|| ceterum nequeo in animum inducere tam
stultum Aemilianum esse, ut arbitretur mihi litteras pueri et eiusdem
accusatoris me[i] offuturas. |
|Then there was that planned letter which I didn't write
and which wasn't credibly constructed. With this letter, they wanted it to
seem that the woman was tempted by me with flattery. But why should I
flatter, if I put my trust in magic? And how did the letter come to them,
considering that it was surely sent to Pudentilla through some trusted
agent, which is usual in such a case? Moreover, why would I write with sch
corrupt language, with such barbaric speech -- I, the man they say is not
the least bit ignorant in Greek? Again, why would I tease her with such
absurd language and flattery as befits a shopkeeper -- I, the man they say
frolics nimbly enough with erotic poetry? It's clear to whoever may be
listening that the one who was not able to read the more refined Greek of
Pudentilla's letter, reads his own letter more easily and might more
appropriately recommend it for examination.
||Fuit et illa commenticia epistula neque mea manu scripta neque
uerisimiliter conficta, qua uideri uolebant blanditiis a me mulierem
sollicitatam. cur ego blandirem, si magia confidebam? qua autem uia ad
istos peruenit epistula, ad Pudentillam scilicet per aliquem fidelem
missa, ut in re tali accurari solet? cur praeterea tam uitiosis uerbis,
tam barbaro sermone ego scriberem, quem idem dicunt nequaquam Graecae
linguae imperitum? cur autem tam absurdis tamque tabernariis blanditiis
subigitarem, quem idem aiunt uersibus amatoriis satis scite lasciuire? sic
est profecto, cuiuis palam est: hic, qui epistulam Pudentillae
Graecatiorem legere non potuerat, hanc ut suam facilius legit et aptius
|But about the letters, I'll have said enough already -- if
I should add this one thing, that Pudentilla, who had written in a
sarcastic and ironic manner --
||Sed iam de epistulis satis dictum habebo, si hoc unum addidero:
Pudentillam, quae scribserat dissimulamenti causa et deridiculi: |
|"Come now, while I am still of sound mind"
||E)LQE\ TOI/NUN, E(/WS E)/TI SWFRONW= |
|-- after these very letters, called to herself her sons
and her daughter-in-law, and lived with them for almost two months. Let
this pious son tell what he saw his mother doing or saying differently at
that time on account of insanity.
||post hasce litteras euocasse ad se filios et nurum, cum his ferme
duobus mensibus conuersatam. dicat hic pius filius, quid in eo tempore
sequius agentem uel loquentem matrem suam propter insaniam uiderit; |
|Let him deny that she saw to the affairs of the bailiffs,
the shepherds, and the groomsmen with the sharpest skill.
||neget eam rationibus uilliconum et upilionum et equisonum
sollertissime subscripsisse; |
|Let him deny that she gravely warned his own brother
Pontianus to beware the wickedness of Rufinus.
||neget fratrem suum Pontianum grauiter ab ea monitum, ut sibi ab
insidiis Rufini caueret; |
|Let him deny that he was rightly rebuked because he
circulated the letters which she had sent to him and did not read them in
||neget uere obiurgatum, quod litteras, quas ad eum miserat, uulgo
circumtulisset nec tamen bona fide legisset; |
|Let him deny next that his mother married me at her
estate, in the place previously agreed on. In fact, it pleased us to be
married in her estate away from the city so that citizens wouldn't flock
to the wedding seeking gifts, since not too long ago, on the day when
Pontianus took his wife and this boy was garbed in his toga signifying his
manhood, Pudentilla gave fifty thousand coins to the crowd from her own
pocket. Also, we were married in her estate so that we could avoid the
myriad and irritating parties, at which the attendance of newlyweds is
practically required by law.
||neget post ista quae dixi matrem suam mihi apud uillam iam pridem
condicto loco nubsisse. quippe ita placuerat, in suburbana uilla potius ut
coniungeremur, ne ciues denuo ad sportulas conuolarent, cum haud pridem
Pudentilla de suo quinquaginta milia nummum [in] populum expunxisset ea
die, qua Pontianus uxorem duxit et hic puerulus toga est inuolutus,
praeterea, ut conuiuiis multis ac molestiis supersederemus, quae ferme ex
more nouis maritis obeunda sunt. |
you have the whole reason why our nuptials were not contracted in town but
at her estate: so that another fifty thousand coins wouldn't have to be
dumped out and so that we wouldn't have to dine with you or at your house.
Isn't this reason enough? But I'm a little surprised that you destest a
country estate so strongly. After all, you live so much in the country.
Indeed, the Julian law in its sections on marriage carries no such
prohibitions: "Marry not in a country villa." On the contrary, it's more
auspicious for children if a wife is taken in the country than in the
city, on fertile ground rather than in a sterile place, in the sod of a
field rather than on the cobblestones of the market. A woman who is about
to be a mother should be wed in the maternal bosom itself, among the
full-grown corn, above the fruitful earth. And once married, she should
recline beneath an elm, in the very bosom of her mother the earth, among
the herbal sprouts and layers of grape vines and the shoots of trees. And
then that well-known verse in that comedy closely corresponds to this:
|| Habes, Aemiliane, causam totam, cur
tabulae nubtiales inter me ac Pudentillam non in oppido sint, sed in uilla
suburbana consignatae: ne quinquaginta milia nummum denuo profundenda
essent nec tecum aut apud te cenandum. estne causa idonea? miror tamen,
quod tu a[m] uilla[m] tantopere abhorreas, qui plerumque rure uersere. lex
quidem Iulia de maritandis ordinibus nusquam sui ad hunc modum interdicit:
'uxorem in uilla ne ducito'; immo si uerum uelis, uxor ad prolem multo
auspicatius in uilla quam in oppido ducitur, in solo uberi quam in loco
sterili, in agri cespite quam in fori silice. mater futura in ipso materno
si[nu] nubat, in segete adulta, super fecundam glebam, uel enim sub ulmo
marita cubet, in ipso gremio terrae matris, inter suboles herbarum et
propagines uitium et arborum germina. ibi et ille celeberrimus in
comoediis uersus de proximo congruit: |
|"to the field of legitimate children."
||PAI/DWN E)P' A)RO/TW| GNHSI/WN [E)PI\ SPORA=|]. |
|Moreover, not only wives, but also consulships and
dictatorships were conferred in the fields for the ancient Romans, the
Quintii and Serranii and many others similarly. I should restrain myself
in so luxuriant a place so that I don't praise you by praising the estate.
||Romanorum etiam maioribus Quintis et Serranis et multis aliis
similibus non modo uxores, uerum etiam consulatus et dictaturae in agris
offerebantur. cohibe[b]am me in tam prolixo loco, ne tibi gratum faciam,
si uillam laudauero. |
| Now, let's
talk about the true age of Pudentilla, which you lied about so confidently
after all those other things, that you said that she married me when she
was sixty years old. I'll answer you with just a few words, since more
aren't necessary in such a plain matter.
|| De aetate uero Pudentillae, de qua
post ista satis confidenter mentitus es, ut etiam sexaginta annos natam
diceres nubsisse, de ea tibi paucis respondebo: nam [non] necesse est in
re tam perspicua pluribus disputare. |
|Her father publicly acknowledged her as his daughter, by
the custom of the land. Her birth records are preserved partly in the
public archives and partly at home, and these records will be cast against
you. You over there, take the records to Aemelianus:
||Pater eius natam sibi filiam more ceterorum professus est. tabulae
eius partim tabulario publico partim domo adseruantur, quae iam tibi ob os
obiciuntur. porrige tu Aemiliano tabulas istas: |
|Let him inspect the thread which binds the letter, and let
him recognize the markings impressed on it.
||linum consideret, signa quae impressa sunt recognoscat, |
|Let him read who the consuls were and then compute the
years, which he assigned to the woman as sixty.
||consules legat, annos computet, quos sexaginta mulieri adsignabat.
|Let him prove fifty-five!
||probet quinque et quinquaginta: |
|Clearly, he has lied.
||lustro mentitus sit. |
|This isn't enough -- let me deal with him more freely. He
lavished many years upon Pudentilla, so I'll give back ten years in turn.
Mezentius has wandered with Ulysses: let him at least show that the woman
||parum hoc est, liberalius agam, -- nam et ipse Pudentillae multos
annos largitus est, redonabo igitur uicissim decem annos -- Mezentius cum
Vlixe errauit: quinquaginta saltem annorum mulierem ostendat. |
|What else? Here's how I would deal with someone who
magnifies by four: I'll make the five-year period twice double; I'll
subtract twenty years at once. Maximus, order the consuls to be counted.
Unless I'm mistaken, you'll now discover that Pudentilla is no more than
||quid multis? ut cum quadruplatore agam, bis duplum quinquennium
faciam, uiginti annos semel detraham. iube, Maxime, consules computari:
nisi fallor, inuenies nunc Pudentillae haud multo amplius quadragensimum
annum aetatis ire. |
|What a bold and exceeding falsehood!
||o falsum audax et nimium, |
|What a lie! -- One which should be punished by twenty
years of exile!
||o mendacium uiginti annorum exilio puniendum. |
|You're lying, Aemilianus, by as much as fifty percent, and
you're venturing falsehoods at 150 percent. If you had suggested thirty
years for ten, you might have appeared to goof up on a counting gesture --
that is, you'd have seemed to have touched your fingers when you should
have circled them. But indeed forty, which is more easily indicated than
the rest by the outstretched palm, this forty you increase by half. It's
impossible that you've erred with a gesture of your fingers, unless, by
chance, having calculated that Pudentilla is thirty, you've counted twice
for the consuls of each year.
||dimidio tanta, Aemiliane, mentiris, falsa audes sesquealtera. si
triginta annos pro decem dixisses, posses uideri computationis gestu
errasse, quos circulare debueris digitos adgessisse. cum uero quadraginta,
quae facilius ceteris porrecta palma significantur, ea quadraginta tu
dimidio auges, non potes[t] digitorum gestu errasse, nisi forte triginta
annorum Pudentillam ratus binos cuiusque anni consules numerasti. |
| But I'm through with these
things. I'm coming now to the heart of the accusation, to the very charge
of doing evil. Let Aemilianus and Rufinus tell us: even if I had been the
greatest magician, for what profit would I have forced Pudentilla to marry
me with poetry and potions? I know many defendants who were prosecuted for
some crime, when a motive seemed to exist. By this one fact, though, they
easily defended themselves: that their lives shrink away from this sort of
scandal. And a crime shouldn't be suspected of them, just because there
seem to have existed certain openings to committing this crime. For in
fact, not everything which could have been should be held as fact -
changes of events do happen.
|| Missa haec facio. uenio nunc ad ipsum
stirpem accusationis, ad ipsam causam maleficii. respondeat Aemilianus et
Rufinus, ob quod emolumentum, etsi maxime magus forem, Pudentillam
carminibus et uenenis ad matrimonium pellexissem. atque ego scio plerosque
reos alicuius facinoris postulatos, si fuisse quaepiam causae probarentur,
hoc uno se tamen [h]abunde defendisse, uitam suam procul ab huiusmodi
sceleribus abhorrere nec id sibi obesse debere, quod uideantur quaedam
fuisse ad maleficiundum inuitamenta; non enim omnia quae fieri pot[u]erint
pro factis habenda, rerum uices uarias euenire: certum indicem cuiusque
animum esse; |
|I would point out that the nature of each person is fixed.
A person is always saddled with the same character; his life is disposed
towards either moral strength or weakness. This is the strongest argument
for accepting or rejecting the charge.
||qui semper eodem ingenio ad uirtutem uel malitiam moratus firmum
argumentum est accipiendi criminis aut respuendi. |
|Although I'd be able to claim this deservedly,
nevertheless I concede this privilege to you. Even if I've thoroughly
cleared myself of all the things which you have falsely accused me of, I
wouldn't have a strong enough case for myself -- unless I didn't tolerate
even the slightest suspicion of magic. Discuss amongst yourselves the
faith I show in my innocence and the contempt I show of you. If one
reason, even the slightest, had been found as to why I should have sought
marriage with Prudentilla for any sort of advantage -- if you'd have
proved even the tiniest bit of profit, I'd be a Carmendas or a Damigeron
or that Moses or John or Apollobex or Dardanus himself or whatever other
celebrated magicians there were after Aoroaster and Hostanes.
||haec ego quamquam possim merito dicere, tamen uobis condono nec satis
mihi duco, si me omnium quae insimulastis abunde purgaui, [ni]si nusquam
passus sum uel exiguam suspicionem magiae consistere. reputate uobiscum,
quanta fiducia innocentiae meae quantoque despectu uestri agam: si una
causa uel minima fuerit inuenta, cur ego debuerim Pudentillae nubtias ob
aliquod meum commodum appetere, si quamlibet modicum emolumentum
probaueritis, ego ille sim Carmendas uel Damigeron uel % his Moses uel
I[oh]annes uel Apollobex uel ipse Dardanus uel quicumque alius post
Zoroastren et Hostanen inter magos celebratus est. |
| I beg you,
Maximus, see what a ruckus they've stirred up, because I've numbered a few
magicians by name. What should I do with such crude types, such
barbarians? Should I teach them yet again that I have read these names,
and many others, in the public library in the writings of the most famous
authors, or should I argue at length that it's one thing to know these
names, and something quite different to take part in this same art?
Possessing the instruments of scholarship and memory for text shouldn't be
considered a confession of crime.
|| Vide quaeso, Maxime, quem tumultum
suscitarint, quoniam ego paucos magorum nominatim percensui. quid faciam
tam rudibus, tam barbaris? doceam rursum haec et multo plura alia nomina
in bybliothecis publicis apud clarissimos scriptores me legisse an
disputem longe aliud esse notitiam nominum, aliud artis eiusdem
communionem nec debere doctrinae instrumentum et eruditionis memoriam pro
confessione criminis haberi |
|Or should I do what's far better, Claudius Maximus, and
relying on your learning, on your complete erudition, refrain from
responding to these accusations emanating from these foolish and uncouth
men? That's what I'd rather do. What they esteem highly, I won't think
worthless, and what I've begun, I'll continue to dispute.
||an, quod multo praestabilius est, tua doctrina, Claudi Maxime, tuaque
perfecta eruditione fretus contemnam stultis et impolitis ad haec
respondere? ita potius faciam: quid illi existiment, nauci non putabo;
quod institui pergam disputare: |
|There was no reason for me to have enticed Pudentilla to
marry by using love potions.
||nullam mihi causam fuisse Pudentillam ueneficiis ad nuptias