Kitayama might be taking a picture of this (mousapelli) wrote,
Kitayama might be taking a picture of this

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Give Cicero a hand. Twice. And a head.

I have to admit, that as little as i like reading some of Cicero, translating his death for my last prose comp assignment left me feeling sort of melancholy. It's true that he was a pompous ass upon occasion, and true that he could not pick a winner in a one-horse race, but he was a pretty big deal for somebody not born in Rome and New Man and all that.

And I do have a lot of love for the underdog. in his own way, he is saying "Oratory is a prostitute, it should be tarted up, performed", and if i can get a Velvet Goldmine quote in there, it can't be all bad.

E multis qui illo diro anno oppressi sunt, solus fuit cuius mors omnes homines commovit. Cum nuntium de proscriptione audivisset, Cicero e villa iuxta Tusculum quo beatissimus fuerat processit ad Macedoniam navigaturus ut se ad M. Brutum adiungeret. Festinavit ad orem et navem conscensit, et post navigationem tumultuosam sed brevem appulsus in suum Formianum se texit. Qui litteras lexerat famae crederet eius dicentis se mortuurum in patriam quae saepius salutem attulisset. Brevi postquam latum ab lecticariis qui vi dominum benignum defensuri sunt aliquot milites eum invenerunt Popillio duce cui ille in crimen adducto parricidii patrocinatus erat. Servis rixari vetitis, Cicero mortem obiit modo quo ei qui eum venerati sunt vellent. Caput manusque quibus orationes in Antonio scripserat inimicis auctoris super rostro quo tam saepius apud populum edixerat monstrabantur.

This is the translation of what my latin says, not the english that i used to begin with, because i shuffled some stuff around.

Out of the many who were made to suffer in that terrible year, there was one whose death moved all men. When he had heard the news about the proscription, Cicero set out from the villa near Tusculum where he had been most happy and intended to sail to Macedonia so that he could join himself to Marcus Brutus. He hurried to the shore and boarded a ship, and after a stormy yet brief sailing, having landed he hid himself in his house at Formiae. One who had read his letters might believe that rumor that he said "I mean to die in the fatherland to which so often I brought safety." After a little while, having been carried by litter bearers who were prepared to defend their kind master by force, he was discovered by a few soldiers led by Popillius, who he [Cicero] had defended while under a charge of parricide. With the slaves ordered not to brawl, Cicero met his death in a way which those who venerated him might have wished. His head and his hands, which had written the orations against Anthony, at the order of his personal enemies were displayed on the Rostra, where so often he had spoken to the people.
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