Cicero ad Familiares XIII.1
Commentary by John Casey, revised by J. Bailly
Cicero writes to Gaius Memmius on behalf of his friend Atticus. Memmius
is in possession of property once owned by Epicurus in Athens. He has
proposed to tear down whatever ruins remain of Epicurus's house, and
build himself a villa there. The followers of Epicurus, the Epicureans,
worshipped their founder like a god and could not bear to see his
property built on by Memmius. Therefore Patro, the head of the
Epicurean school, and the Epicureans made a petition and appealed to
everyone they could. First to Memmius, who apparently denied them
flatly. Then to Atticus, who was a friend of Patro. Atticus then wrote
to his friend Cicero asking him to plead with Memmius not to go through
with his plans. Cicero actually stopped at Athens on his way to Cilicia
as governor in 51 bce. to talk to Memmius. Memmius was away, however,
at Mitylene. Therefore Cicero wrote this letter to Memmius on behalf of
Atticus and his Epicurean friends. It is unclear why Cicero should have
any influence on Memmius, but apparently Memmius agreed not to build on
Gaius Memmius (ca. 104-46 bce.) served in various political offices,
the most notable of which was his term as propraetor in Bithynia, where
he won the title of imperator and provoked the comic ire of Catullus
(carmen x,9-13 and xxviii), who was on Memmius's staff. In 54 bce. he
sought the consulship, but was accused de ambitu (bribery) and went
into voluntary exile in Athens. He was convicted in his absence, and
apparently was never recalled from exile. That is what Cicero refers to
here as "iniuria." Memmius was seen by some as a literary talent and is
supposedly the friend to whom Lucretius dedicated "De Rerum Natura."
Scr. Athenis ineunte mense Quinctili a.u.c. 703.
M. CICERO S. D. C. MEMMIO.
Etsi non satis mihi constiterat, cum aliquane animi mei molestia an
potius libenter te Athenis visurus essem, quod iniuria, quam accepisti,
dolore me afficeret, sapientia tua, qua fers iniuriam, laetitia, tamen
vidisse te mallem; nam, quod est molestiae, non sane multo levius est,
quum te non video, quod esse potuit voluptatis, certe, si vidissem te,
plus fuisset. Itaque non dubitabo dare operam, ut te videam, quum id
satis commode facere potero: interea, quod per litteras et agi tecum
et, ut arbitror, confici potest, agam. (2) Ac te illud primum rogabo,
quid invitus mea causa facias, sed id, quod mea intelliges multum, tua
nullam in partem interesse, ita mihi des, si tibi, ut id libenter
facias, ante persuaseris. Cum Patrone Epicurio mihi omnia sunt, nisi
quod in philosophia vehementer ab eo dissentio; sed et initio Romae,
quum te quoque et tuos omnes observabat, me coluit in primis et nuper,
quum ea, quae voluit, de suis commodis et praemiis consecutus est, me
habuit suorum defensorum et amicorum fere principem et iam a Phaedro,
qui nobis, quum pueri essemus, antequam Philonem cognovimus, valde ut
philosophus, postea tamen ut vir bonus et suavis et officiosus
probabatur, traditus mihi commendatusque est. (3) Is igitur Patro quum
me Romam litteras misisset, uti te sibi placarem peteremque, ut nescio
quid illud Epicuri parietinarum sibi concederes, nihil scripsi ad te ob
eam rem, quod aedificationis tuae consilium commendatione mea nolebam
impediri; idem, ut veni Athenas, quum idem ad te scriberem rogasset,
ob eam causam impetravit, quod te abiecisse illam aedificationem
constabat inter omnes amicos tuos. (4) Quod si ita est et si iam tua
nihil interest, velim, si qua offensiuncula facta est animi tui
perversitate aliquorum--novi enim gentem illam--, des te ad lenitatem
vel propter summam tuam humanitatem vel etiam honoris mei causa.
Equidem, si, quid ipse sentiam, quaeris, nec cur ille tanto opere
contendat video nec cur tu repugnes, nisi tamen multo minus tibi
concedi potest quam illi laborare sine causa; quamquam Patronis et
orationem et causam tibi cognitam esse certo scio: honorem, officium,
testamentorum ius, Epicuri auctoritatem, Phaedri obtestationem, sedem,
domicilium, vestigia summorum hominum sibi tuenda esse dicit. Totam
hominis viam rationemque, quam sequitur in philosophia, derideamus
licet, si hanc eius contentionem volumus reprehendere; sed mehercules,
quoniam illi ceterisque, quos illa delectant, non valde inimici sumus,
nescio an ignoscendum sit huic, si tanto opere laborat; in quo etiamsi
peccat, magis ineptiis quam improbitate peccat. (5) Sed, ne
enim aliquando est--, Pomponium Atticum sic amo, ut alterum fratrem;
nihil est illo mihi nec carius nec iucundius: is--non quo sit ex istis;
est enim omni liberali doctrina politissimus, sed valde diligit
Patronem, valde Phaedrum amavit--sic a me hoc contendit, homo minime
ambitiosus, minime in rogando molestus, ut nihil umquam magis, nec
dubitat, quin ego a te nutu hoc consequi possem, etiamsi aedificaturus
esses; nunc vero, si audierit te aedificationem deposuisse neque tamen
me a te impetrasse, non te in me illiberalem, sed me in se negligentem
putabit. Quamobrem peto a te, ut scribas ad tuos posse tua voluntate
decretum illud Areopagitarum, quem ὑπομνηματισμόν illi vocant,
(6) Sed redeo ad prima: prius velim tibi persuadeas, ut hoc mea causa
libenter facias, quam ut facias; sic tamen habeto, si feceris, quod
rogo, fore mihi gratissimum. Vale.
Scr. Athenis ineunte mense Quinctili a.u.c. 703
ineunte mense Quinctili: abl. of time when; all Month designations are
adjectives in Latin, not nouns.
a.u.c.= ab urbe condita, referring to the legendary founding of Rome in
753. Note that condita modifies urbe, but is best translated in English
as a noun, "founding," while urbe is best translated as "of the city."
etsi . . . constiterat: etsi takes the same constructions as si: here,
the protasis of a particular condition (indicative
indicates that Cicero presents this as a fact: it was not clear to him
whether it would be a pleasant occasion).
cum: takes the ablative phrase aliqua molestia, which takes the
objective gen. phrase animi mei.
-ne....an: "whether.....or" introducing alternative indirect questions.
Athenis: locative; Athens is plural.
visurus essem: secondary tense of "future subjunctive."
iniuria: iniuria refers to Memmius' being condemned de ambitu in 52
bce. Cicero treats it as a miscarriage of justice (so Bailey).
afficeret: subjunctive in subordinate clause in indirect
speech and part of Cicero's thought. Accepisti and fers are indicative,
because Cicero is presenting them as facts. The verb afficio can takes
object accusative as well as an ablative. Translate it using the verb
corresponding to the ablative. For example, te
afficio et dolore et laetitia would be "I both gladden and pain you."
sapientia tua (me afficeret) laetitia: parallelism indicates what words
to supply from the context.
mallem: the main verb of the sentence, mallem is "optative"
est: impersonal "there is."
molestiae . . . voluptatis: partitive genitives dependent on quod.
multo: abl. of degree of difference.
levius: predicate nom. agreeing with quod.
quum: alternate of conjunction cum; cum temporal can take indicative.
esse potuit: translate as an unreal "there could have been": possum
often remains indicative even in unreals.
certe: modifies fuisset.
si vidissem...fuisset: conditional clause (past contrary-to-fact).
dare operam: (idiom) "to do one's best," "to take care," taking a
purpose clause (ut te videam).
quum: alternate of what conjunction?
quod per litteras . . . potest, agam: the unexpressed antecedent
of quod would be the direct object of agam if it were
ut arbitror: a parenthetical remark.
illud: translate as "the following"; refers to the ne clause.
ne . . . facias: subjunctive in indirect command.
invitus: an adj. modifying the subject in Latin, but translated by an
adverb modifying the verb in English: hoc invitus facio="I do this
mea causa: why ablative?
Remember that all the ali's drop away after
si, nisi, num, and ne.
sed id . . . persuaseris: the subordinating structure of this sentence
is as follows:
cum Patrone....sunt: "With Patro the Epicurean I am in complete
accord"(Williams' Loeb translation).
- sed id (beginning of main clause, which is the
apodosis of a condition.)
- quod . . . intelleges (relative clause: quod's antecedent is
- mea (interesse) (indirect speech dependent on intelleges)
- tua nullam in partem multum interesse (indirect speech
dependent on intelleges: multum is adverbial accusative)
- ita mihi des (conclusion of main clause. Des is independent
jussive subjunctive, not present subjunctive in a future less vivid
conditional, because Cicero is making a polite request: a
future less vivid condition makes little sense
- si tibi . . . ante persuaseris (protasis to the condition.
Future perfect is normal in a future more vivid: ante is adverbial:
persuadeo takes dat.)
- ut id libenter facias (nominal ut clause acting as direct
object of persuaseris.)
Patrone: Patro was the head of the Epicurean school in Athens after
Phaedrus. Patro is petitioning Memmius to save Epicurus's property.
sed et initio . . . commendatusque est: this long sentence has the
following structure (note that it has parallel structures: also see
notes on individual words and phrases below):
et initio . . . et nuper: Cicero refers to two eras, the "early days"
(presumably some time in the past when Patro was not yet head of the
Epicurean school and Cicero had not yet fully rejected Epicureanism as
a philosophy) and "recently" (when Patro has succeeded Phaedrus as head
of the Epicurean school and he and Cicero has rejected Epicureanism but
still respects certain Epicureans such as Patro and Phaedrus).
- et initio Romae . . . me coluit in primis (main clause)
- cum te quoque et tuos omnes observabat (subordinate temporal
- et nuper . . . me habuit suorum defensorum et amicorum fere
principem (main clause)
- cum ea . . . de suis commodis et praemiis consecutus est
(subordinate temporal cum clause)
- quae voluit (relative clause with ea as antecedent)
- et iam a Phaedro . . . traditus mihi commendatusque est (main
- qui nobis . . . valde ut philosophus, postea tamen, ut vir
bonus et suavis et officiosus probabatur (relative clause with Phaedro
- cum pueri essemus (temporal cum clause: cum clauses
referring to actions prior to their leading verb have either
subjunctive or indicative: A&G 545 and 546)
- antequam Philonem cognovimus (temporal clause)
de suis commodis et praemiis consecutus est: de means "concerning"
or "about," not "from."
Phaedro: Phaedrus (140-70 bce.) was an Epicurean who taught in Athens.
He fled to Rome during the First Mithridatic War in 88 bce. While
teaching in Rome, he won the devotion of the young Cicero. Phaedrus was
one of the few Epicureans whom Cicero held in high regard.
ante quam: (=) antequam: (conj.) before
Philonem: Philo was the head of the Academy (a school in Athens founded
by Plato) from 110-88 bce. In 88 bce. he fled to Rome during the First
Mithradatic war. While in Rome he became for a brief period of time the
teacher of Cicero. Later in life Cicero would return to the principles
learned from Philo.
Is igitur . . . impediri: the structure of this sentence is as follows
(note that the main
clause comes quite late):
Is ... Patro: is modifies Patro as a weak demonstrative.
- Is igitur Patro cum ad me Romam litteras misisset (temporal cum
clauses referring to actions prior to the main verb take either
subjunctive or indicative: A&G
545 and 546)
- uti te sibi placarem (purpose clause in
- peteremque (purpose clause in secondary sequence)
- ut nescio quid illud Epicuri parietinarum sibi
concederes (nominal ut clause acting as object of peterem)
- nihil scripsi ad te ob eam rem (main clause)
- quod aedificationis tuae consilium mea commendatione nolebam
impediri (causal quod clause).
Romam: with cities, rivers, and one-town islands, omit "ad": the bare
accusative = motion towards (poets omit ad even more freely).
nescio quid: nescio combine with several other words to form
idiomatic units. Thus nescio quid = "something" (pronoun) or
"some"(adjective) nescio an = "perhaps."
Thus nescio quid illud parietinarum should be taken as an adjective
modifying a pronoun (illud) with a partitive genitive dependent on the
sibi: refers to the subject of the main clause of the sentence.
consilium: subject of impediri; takes genitive aedificationis tuae.
Idem . . . omnes amicos tuos: this short sentence has the following
idem . . . idem: the first is an adverb ("likewise"), the second an
adjective used as a substantive ("the same man") subject of rogasset.
- Idem (adverb modifying the whole sentence)
- ut veni Athenas (temporal ut clause: note that a temporal ut
takes the indicative)
- cum idem . . . rogasset (temporal cum clause in 2ndary
sequence: when such clauses refer to actions preceding the main verb,
they may have either subjunctive or indicative: see A&G
545 and 546)
- ut ad te scriberem (nominal ut clause in secondary
sequence acting as object of rogasset)
- ob eam causam impetravit (main clause: impetravit has an
understood object such as another ut ad te scriberem)
- quod . . . constabat inter omnes amicos tuos (causal quod
- te abiecisse illam aedificationem
rogasset: = rogavisset. The "-vi-" falls out in
In this section, Cicero is extremely polite, to the point of
obsequiousness. He inflates Memmius' importance and dignity. He
suggests that Memmius is a much greater and more important man than
Patro. Then, with the sentence starting "Quamquam Patronis et orationem
et causam . . .," Cicero begins to suggest that Patro too has his
reasons to be obstinate. Cicero suggests it is the part of the better
man, Memmius, to indulge the lesser, Patro, especially since Patro is
so exercised about the matter. We may laugh at such things if we want
to, Cicero says, but then he suggests in the last sentence of the
section that we might as well be indulgent as long as those who take
these things seriously are not our enemies.
quod si . . . honoris mei causa: this sentence is super-politely
qualified by three protases, an apologetic diminutive offensiuncula and
a polite subjunctive velim. Cicero is laying the deference on thick. It
would be a snub were Memmius to refuse to be clement and kind in
responding to such a request for the sake of the honor of a consular
such as Cicero. At the
same time, Cicero allows Memmius to save face by attributing any
offense to the distortion practiced by others.
quod si: often means "but if."
ita: refers to the putative fact that Memmius has abandoned the
building project already, as mentioned in the previous sentence.
interest: interest tua (ablative) = "it is of importance to you."
velim . . . des: frequently volo takes a subjunctive clause without ut,
which is called a semi-independent subjunctive. Compare the way some
English speakers say things like "I want you should do this."
si qua: = si aliqua.
animi tui: objective genitive, with what noun?
aliquorum: another objective genitive, with what noun?
equidem: equidem takes the place of ego quidem (which does not occur).
Remember that Latin has no need to actually express the personal
subject, thus this should be translated as "I for my part" or something
similar. Such language is often found in extra-polite conversation.
si quid ipse sentiam quaeris, nec cur ille tanto opere contendat video:
A real conditional protasis identifies the condition under which the
apodosis results, as in "If you hit me, I will scream." My screaming is
conditional upon your hitting me. But in Cicero's sentence, Cicero's
understanding (video) is not conditional upon Memmius' asking
(quaeris). The "real" apodosis is something like "I will say" and the
indirect question cur ille ... is dependent on that "I will say." The
is true of the last part of the sentence too, which is even murkier
because of the negatives.
nisi...causa: the sentiment expressed is that Memmius is more important
than Patro: that much is clear. The idea seems to be that Memmius has
devoted some labor to the building project, and there is a principle
that one's labor ought not to be in vain, and so he resists Patro's
petition. Patro too has devoted labor to his project, opposing the
building. If Memmius wins, Patro's labor will be in vain. Since
Memmius' labor is more important than Patro's, it is much less to be
conceded that Memmius labor in vain than that Patro do so. Cicero thus
says he understands why Memmius is resisting only if that idea is true.
quam illi: quam = than
et orationem et causam: et ... et ... = "both ... and ... "
honorem ... dicit: in this sentence, the list is asyndetic (i.e. there
are no connecting words such as et, -que, cum ... tum, etc.), and it
builds by having longer and longer elements. The last item, reverence
for the footsteps of great men, is the crescendo, and is probably meant
to be a tad ridiculous, since the next sentence suggests that we may
mock such things. All the items are accusative subjects of tuenda esse,
the passive periphrastic, which is an infinitive in indirect speech
dependent on dicit.
derideamus licet: derideamus is another semi-independent subjunctive
and is dependent on licet.
Sed Mehercules: this impassioned exclamation marks the turning point of
the letter. Up to now, Cicero has been indulging Memmius and Memmius'
reputation, but now he begins to lay out his reasons for requesting
that Memmius not build.
illa: neuter plural nom. referring to what things?
inimici: this word explains why illi and ceteris are dative.
nescio an: treat as one word = "perhaps."
ignoscendum sit: periphrastic. Ignosco takes what case?
in quo: quo refers to the intense worries of the Epicureans about their
philosophy and its founder.
In this section, at last Cicero's argument comes full circle and we see
why he is writing to Memmius in the first place. Atticus, Cicero's
friend, has asked him to write to Memmius as a favor, and he does not
want to be seen to disappoint his friend.
sed ne plura: cf. English "But no more about that." What verb
might be omitted here?
dicendum enim aliquando est: impersonal periphrastic.
Pomponium Atticum: the Atticus of Cicero's letters ad
sic . . . ut . . . : these correlative adverbs are like signposts in a
sentence. Often, the first is not
translated at all in English, and the second is translated as "as."
alterum fratrem: Cicero's "first" brother is Quintus.
illo: abl. of comparison.
non quo sit ex istis: this quo meaning "because" (OLD quo 4) is used
with the subjunctive in giving a rejected reason. istis refers to the
Epicureans in general, and is pejorative. The usual dictionary
translation of iste, ista, istud is "that . . . of yours," because iste
refers to a "that" close to the second person, "you," just as hic,
haec, hoc refers to a "this" close to the first person, "me," and ille,
illa, illud refers to a "that" close to the third person, "him" or
"her." Thus the "of yours" can be left out, and frequently should be.
It is put there in the dictionaries and vocabularies to indicate the
local reference point of iste, ista, istud.
ut nihil umquam magis: understand "a me contendit," because this clause
is correlated with the earlier sic clause (sic ..., ut ...).
nec dubitat quin: negated verbs of doubting take quin + subjunctive.
nutu: abl. of means.
aedificaturus esses: secondary tense of a periphrastic.
si audierit...putabit: conditional clause (future more vivid)
audierit: has two infinitives in indirect speech dependent on it
(deposuisse and impetrasse).
impetrasse: = impetravisse
putabit: has two clauses dependent on it, both of which have omitted
esse (non te in me illiberalem, sed me in se negligentem).
quam ob rem: (conj.) on account of which, therefore
ut scribas: a nominal ut clause that acts as the object of peto.
posse: ilud decretum is the subject of this infinitive, which takes a
complementary infinitive, tolli.
Areopagitarum: (gen.pl.) The Areopagus was a hill in Athens, and is
used to refer to the chief Athenian administrative body.
ὑπομνηματισμόν literally, "record," "memorial," a
hypomnematismos was a decree of the Areopagus.
ad prima: prima refers to the beginning of the letter.
prius velim....ut facias: prius could be one of two things: 1) it means
"rather": in that case the sentence means "I would like you to persuade
yourself that you do this willingly for my sake rather than
that you (just) do it." 2) it prepares for the quam that comes later in
quam ut facias and should be ignored in translation, while the quam
should be translated as priusquam, "before." Bailey favors 2 and
eliminating the ut in quam ut facias. In that case the sentence means
"I would like you to persuade yourself that you do this freely for my
sake before you do it."
Velim is a jussive subjunctive. ut tibi persuadeas is a
semi-independent subjunctive (see above). Ut hoc . . . facias is a
nominal clause which is the object of persuadeas.
habeto: a so-called future imperative. The construction is perhaps more
polite than the other imperative habe. Habeto takes indirect speech
(fore mihi gratissimum) as a verb of thinking.
si feceris: conditional protasis (future more vivid, albeit of a hybrid
fore: futurum esse (future inf. of sum).
gratissimum: superlative adjective.
abicio -iere, -ieci, -iectum (vt.) abandon
accipio -ipere, -epi, -eptum (vt.) receive, accept
adficio -ere, -eci, -ectum (vt.) affect, endow
aedificatio -onis f. building
aedificio -are, -avi, -atum (vt.) build, construct
afficio (see adficio)
aliqui, -qua, -quod (adj.) some, any
aliquis, -quid (pro.) somebody, something, someone
aliquando (adv.) sometime, ever
ambitiosus, -a, -um (adj.) ambitious
arbitror -ari, -atus (vt.+ i.; dep.) think, suppose, testify
Areopagita, -ae m. Areopagite (a member of the administrative body of
Athenae -arum f.pl. Athens
auctoritas -atis f. source, opinion, authority
carus, -a, -um (adj.) dear, costly, beloved
causa, with preceding gen., for the sake of (the gen.)
certe (adv.) of course, certainly
certus (adj.) fixed, definite, certain
ceteri, -orum (adj.) the rest, the others
cognosco, -ere, -ovi, -itum (vt.) get to know, learn, understand: know
(in the perfect tenses)
colo, -ere, -ui, cultum (vt.) cultivate, cherish
commendatio, -onis f. recommendation, worth
commendo, -are, -avi, -atum (vt.) entrust, commit, commend; recommend
commode (adv.) opportunely, conveniently
concedo, -ere, -cessi, -cessum (vt.) cede, concede
conficio, -ere, -eci, -ectum (vt.) effect, complete, accomplish
consequor, -qui, -cutus (vt.; dep.) follow, pursue, attain
consilium, -i n. purpose, plan, decision
constituo, -ere, -ui, -utum (vt.) decide
consto, -are, -iti, -atum (vi.) mihi constat I agree: constat inter
omnes everyone agrees: non mihi satis constat I have not quite made up
contendo, -ere, -di, -tum (vt.) exert oneself; ask for earnestly
contentio, -onis f. straining, striving, effort
cur (adv.) why?
decretum, -i n. decree, resolution, doctrine
delecto, -are (vt.) charm, delight, amuse
depono, -ere, -sui, -situm (vt.) lay down, set aside
derideo (vt.) mock, make fun of
diligo, -ere, -exi, -ectum (vt.) prize, esteem, love
dolor, -oris m. pain, ache, smart
domicilium, -i n. dwelling
dubito, -are (vt.+ i.) waver, hesitate, be in doubt
enim (conj.) for, in fact, indeed
Epicureus, -a, -um (adj.) Epicurean
equidem (adv.) I for my part, indeed, of course
etiam (adv.) even, also, besides; etiamsi = etiam si
facio, -ere, -eci, -ectum (vt.) do, create, perform
fere (adv.) almost, practically
gens, -tis f. clan, family, people, tribe
gratissimus, -a, -um (superl. adj.) pleasing, welcome, dear
humanitas, -atis f. compassion, kindness
igitur (adv.) consequently, therefore
ignosco, -ere, -vi, -tum (vt., also intransitive + dat.) pardon,
illiberalis, -e (adj.) ungenerous, mean
impedio, -ire, -ivi, -itum (vt.) hinder, impede
impetro, -are (vt.) achieve, obtain, secure
improbitas, -atis f. badness, dishonesty
ineptia, -ae f. stupidity, nonsense
inimicus, -a, -um (adj.) unfriendly, hostile (+ dat.)
initium, -i n. beginning
iniuria, -ae, f., wrong, injustice, affront
intellego, -ere, -exi, -ectum (vt.) understand, perceive
interea (adv.) meanwhile
intersum, -esse, -fui (vi.) be present, among; mea interest (impers. +
abl. mea, tua, etc.) it concerns me, it is of importance to me
invitus, -a, -um (adj.) against one's will, reluctant
iste, -a, -ud (pro.) that, this
ita (adv.) thus, so
iucundus, -a, -um (adj.) delightful, agreeable
ius, iuris n. custom, law, right
laboro, -are (vi.) work, take pains, suffer
laetitia, -ae f. joy, delight
lenitas, -atis f. softness, mildness
levis, -e (adj.: comp. levior, levius) light, easy, smooth
libenter (adv.) willingly, gladly
liberalis (adj.) generous, liberal, free
licet, -ere, -uit, -itum (vi.) impers., it is permitted or lawful
magis (adv.) more
malo, malle, malui (vt.) prefer, rather
minime (adv.) least, very little, not
mehercules (interj.) by Hercules!
molestia, -ae f. distress, trouble, worry
molestus, -a, -um (adj.) troublesome, annoying
nescio, -ire, -ivi, -itum (vt.) not know, be ignorant of; nescio quid
something; nescio an perhaps
nolo, nolle, nolui (vt.+ i.) refuse, not wish
nosco, -ere, novi, notum (vt.) get to know, learn
nullus, -a, -um (adj.) no, none, not, nobody
nuper (adv.) recently
nutus, -us m. nod, hint
observo, -are (vt.) defer to, show deference to
obtestatio, -onis f. supplication, adjuration, injunction
offensiuncula, -ae f. slight offense
officium, -i n. duty, responsibility, service, attention
officiosus, -a, -um (adj.) obliging, dutiful
opera, -ae f. effort, pains, exertion: operam dare to pay attention,
opere see tantopere
oratio, -onis f. petition
parietinae, -arum f.pl. ruins
pars, partis f. part; nullam in partem in no manner, in no respect
pecco, -are (vi.) make a mistake, go wrong
perversitas, -atis f. distortion
peto, -ere, -ivi, -itum (vi.) seek, ask, demand
placo, -are (vt.) appease, reconcile
placeo, -ere, -ui, -itum (vi. 3rd conj.) please, satisfy
plane (adv.) plainly, clearly
plus, pluris n. more (in the singular, plus takes a genitive: in the
plural, plures acts as an adjective)
possum, posse, potui (vi.) be able, can
politissimus, -a, -um (superl. adj.) polished, refined, cultured
potius (adv.) rather
praemium, -i n. recompense, prize, reward
primus, -a, -um (adj.) first; in primis especially
princeps, principis m. leader
probo, -are (vt.) approve, esteem
puto, -are (vt.) think, suppose
quaero, -ere, -sivi, -situm (vt.) look for, search, seek
quam (adv.) interog., how, how much; compar., as, than
quamobrem = quam ob rem
quando (conj.) since
quin (conj.) but that, that
quoque (adv.) also, too
ratio, -onis f. reason, thought, knowledge, system
redeo, -ire, -ivi, -itum (vi.) go back, return
reprehendo, -ere, -endi, -ensum (vt.) refute, censure, blame
repugno, -are (vi.) oppose, resist
rogo, -are (vt.) ask, ask for
sane (adv.) indeed, of course, to be sure
satis (adv.) sufficiently
sentio, -ire, sensi, sensum (vt.) feel, perceive, think, observe
sequor, sequi, secutus (vt. dep.) follow, pursue
suavis, -e (adj.) sweet, charming
tantopere/tanto opere so much, so greatly
testamentum, -i n. testament, will
tollo, -ere, sustuli, sublatum (vt.) lift, raise, remove
trado, -ere, tradidi, traditum (vt.) hand over, deliver, entrust;
tueor, -eri, -itus, tuitus/tutus (vt.) protect, keep, guard
umquam/unquam adv., ever
valde (adv.) intensely, very
vehementer (adv.) strongly
vestigium, -i n. footprint, trace, track, sign
viso, -ere, visi, visum (vt.) look at, see to
volo, velle volui (vt.) wish, want
voluntas, -atis f. will, wish, inclination, good will
The text of the letter is from from www.thelatinlibrary.com, which
it from The Society of Ancient Languages with the kind permission of
its webmaster, Brian M. Kleeman. The text is D. Albert Wesenberg's
Teubner edition of 1885.