Commentary Cons. Phil. Book 1 Prosa 3
B. recognizes Philosophia (hereinafter: P.); she explains why she has come.
- section 1
Haud aliter: "in no other way," i.e., "similarly"; suggests that the whole preceding metrum is a comparison to illustrate what now occurs.
ad cognoscendam: ad cognoscendam . . . faciem: "to recognize the face"; gerundive of purpose.
faciem: ad cognoscendam . . . faciem: "to recognize the face"; gerundive of purpose.
- section 2
respicio: historical present.
cuius: with laribus.
laribus: < lares, "household gods" (by metonymy, "home").
obuersatus: < obuersor, "move about [in the presence of]."
fueram: used with participle to create the pluperfect, as often in post-classical Latin.
- section 3
supero cardine: "from the highest vault (of the sky)."
delapsa: often used of the descent of a heavenly figure.
An: sc. uenisti; introducing a further question.
ut: introduces purpose clause to suggest why she may have come to B.
rea: nominative; "(as) a defendant."
- section 4
desererem: desererem . . . partirer: potential subjunctive, imperfect tense indicating past time.
sarcinam: accusative singular, "burden."
inuidia: ablative of cause.
sustulisti: < suffero, "undergo, bear."
partirer: desererem . . . partirer: potential subjunctive, imperfect tense indicating past time.
- section 5
relinquere: governed by fas erat, a common construction in B.; for the idea, cf. 1M1.6.
scilicet: ironical: "so doubtless I should fear . . ." The idea is that P. is constantly a victim of such slanders.
- section 6
primum: adverb, "for the first time."
lacessitam: < lacesso, "strike."
Nonne: introduces question expecting affirmative answer (Nonne . . . certauimus: "didn't we struggle . . .?").
Platonis aetatem: Plato lived c. 429-347 B.C.
eodemque superstite: ablative absolute, "[although] the same [Plato] survived."
Socrates: d. 399 B.C.
- section 7
Epicureum: Epicureum . . . Stoicum: adjectives modifying uulgus ("rabble"). Stoicism and Epicureanism arose about a century after Socrates' lifetime.
Stoicum: Epicureum . . . Stoicum: adjectives modifying uulgus ("rabble"). Stoicism and Epicureanism arose about a century after Socrates' lifetime.
raptum ire: supine of purpose, "to [make a movement to] snatch."
renitentem: "resisting, struggling."
uelut in partem praedae: "as if to be part of their booty."
panniculis: "scraps of cloth."
totam me: literally, "all of me," hence with cessisse, "I had yielded totally."
abiere: = abierunt, < abeo.
- section 8
rata: < reor ("think"), modifies imprudentia (subject of pervertit) and governs the indirect statement meos esse familiares.
peruertit: "ruined, destroyed."
- section 9
Quodsi: "But if"; common in B.
Anaxagorae: genitive < Anaxagoras, an Ionian philosopher and friend of Pericles; he left Athens c. 432 B.C. (or c. 450?) after a charge of impiety was raised against him.
Zenonis tormenta: The steadfastness under torture of Zeno of Elea (born c. 490 B.C., disciple of Parmenides; cf. 1P1.10) was proverbial, but different versions of the story gave different names for the torturer.
nouisti: < nosco, "learn." The perfect means "to know" (i.e., "to have learned").
at: "yet, on the other hand."
Canios: Canius was killed by the emperor Gaius (= Caligula, who reigned 37-41 A.D.); see 1P4.27 for an anecdote on his fate. The plurals are used only to generalize the fate of philosophers.
Senecas: L. Annaeus Seneca ("the younger", d. 65 A.D.), once tutor to Nero, later driven to suicide by his pupil.
Soranos: Soranus, like Canius and Seneca, was a Stoic philosopher (it is only the Stoicum vulgus for which P. has just indicated a distaste); like Seneca, he was driven to suicide by Nero after false accusations.
- section 11
ammirere: = admireris (subjunctive in characterizing relative clause).
salo: < salum, "the high sea."
quibus: "(we) to whom."
pessimis displicere: in apposition with hoc.
- section 12
spernendus: "to be despised."
lymphante: < lympho, "madden"; modifies errore.
- section 13
Qui: sc. exercitus.
si quando: "if ever," followed by perfect subjunctive incubuerit (< incumbo, "throw oneself upon, oppress").
ualentior: modifies the subject, with virtually adverbial force.
dux: here feminine (modified by nostra); perhaps Philosophy herself is meant, perhaps Sapientia (with an echo of a similar scene in Prudentius's allegorical battle of virtues and vices, the Psychomachia [lines 875ff]). This army at least has a dux, while the other has none (nullo duce regitur).
illi: sc. pessimi.
diripiendas: gerundive for gerund, as usual; with sarcinulas (diminutive < sarcina, "pack").
occupantur: "are occupied, are busy."
- section 14
uilissima rerum quaeque: "every thing of least value" (with comparative and superlative adjectives, quisque means "every"). The phrase is the object of rapientes ("[those] snatching"), a participle which is itself the object of irridemus.
securi: nominative, "free from care"; agrees with nos and governs the genitive phrase totius furiosi tumultus.
grassanti: < grassor, "prowl, attack."
sit: subjunctive, characteristic relative clause.