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.
[79] 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 compelled? [79] 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 words. 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 scripserit.
"Pudentilla wrote that you're a magician, so you're a magician." 'magum te scripsit Pudentilla: igitur magus es.'
What if she had written that I was a consul? Would I be a consul? quid, si consulem me scripsisset: consul essem?
What if she had written that I was a painter, say, or a doctor? 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 salutem.
"But she was out of her mind," he said. "She loved you desperately." '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.
[80] Well, what do you want in the end? Was she of sound mind or insane when she wrote this ? [80] postremo quid uis, sanam an insanam fuisse, dum scriberet?
She was of sound mind? So she didn't suffer from magical arts. 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 sane. igitur Pudentilla compos mentis fuit, si compotem mentis se non putabat.
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 again. 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.
[81] 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! [81] 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 uidebuntur.
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
Unbelievable. incredibile.
But I'll show you how this unbelievable event happened. sed hoc incredibile qui sit factum, probabo.
[82] Pudentilla 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: [82] 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 proclaiming: 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 proquiritabat:
"Apuleius is a magician! The woman who suffers from it says so herself!" 'Apuleius magus; dicit ipsa quae sentit et patitur; quid uultis amplius?'
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 saying. 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.
[83] But Aemelianus, recall now whether you'd transcribed the following with me as a witness: [83] 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 hands? uerba suppressa de Rufini manibus foras euolassent,
Wouldn't they have risen up in rebellion and filled the entire forum? 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.
[84] You've 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: [84] 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 my destiny." *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 puplicari?
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?
[85] 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? [85] 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 his parent. 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.
[86] 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. [86] 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 ultioni.
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.
[87] 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?! [87] 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 commendauit.
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 good faith. 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.
[88] Aemilianus, 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: [88] 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.
[89] 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. [89] 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 is fifty. 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 forty. 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.
[90] 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. [90] 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.
[91] 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. [91] 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 prolectandi.

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