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Pharsalia GCSE

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Guy Woolnough

on 15 May 2013

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Transcript of Pharsalia GCSE

iam gelidas Caesar cursu superaverat Alpes
ingentesque animo motus bellumque futurum
ceperat. ut ventum est parvi Rubiconis ad undas,
ingens visa duci patriae trepidantis imago
clara per obscuram vultu maestissima noctem,
turrigero canos effundens vertice crines,
caesarie lacera nudisque adstare lacertis
et gemitu permixta loqui : '' quo tenditis ultra?
quo fertis mea signa, viri? si iure venitis,
si cives, huc usque licet." tum perculit horror
membra ducis, riguere comae, gressumque coercens
languor in extrema tenuit vestigia ripa.
mox ait : " o magnae qui moenia prospicis urbis
Tarpeia de rupe Tonans, Phrygiique penates
gentis luleae et rapti secreta Quirini
et residens celsa Latiaris luppiter Alba
Vestalesque foci summique o numinis instar
Roma, fave coeptis ; non te furialibus armis
persequor; en, adsum victor terraque marique
Caesar, ubique tuus (liceat modo, nunc quoque) miles.
ille erit, ille nocens, qui me tibi fecerit hostem.’
inde moras solvit belli tumidumque per amnem
signa tulit propere

Caesar, ut adversam superato gurgite ripam
attigit, Hesperiae vetitis et constitit arvis,
"hic," ait, 'hic pacem temerataque iura relinquo;
te, Fortuna, sequor. procul hinc iam foedera sunto;
credidimus satis his, utendum est iudice bello." He said:
o Tonans qui prospicis moenia magnae urbis
de Tarpeia rupe,
o penates gentis luleae et secreta rapti Quirini,
et luppiter, residens celsa Latiaris Alba,
Vestalesque foci,
et Roma, instar summi numinis, (the image, ie, just like, of a deity)
fave coeptis (faveo takes a dative: 'support what has been begun')
non te furialibus armis persequor (it's not you I'm after)
Caesar tuus miles adsum victor ubique terraque marique
(liceat modo, nunc quoque).
ille nocens erit qui me tibi fecerit (future perfect) hostem inde belli moras (the customs of war) solvit
per (here, over) amnem tumidum signa tulit

Caesar, ut (NB, not subj. "as") adversam ripam (superato gurgite)(Ab Abs) attigit,
et constitit arvis vetitis Hesperiae
(He said) hic pacem temerataque iura relinquo;
te, Fortuna, sequor. procul hinc iam foedera sunto (an obsolete form of 'sum' it is a 3rd person pl. imperative)
credidimus satis his (we have trusted these agreements enough) utendum est iudice bello. (utor [deponent] takes an ablative. We must use the judge, war.)
Lucan wrote a history, but it was in verse. It is difficult for us to understand why anyone would write history in verse form, but it is important to remember that a lot of Latin literature was learnt by heart. Books were hand written, very expensive and scarce. Verse is actually easier to learn by heart than is prose.
Lucan’s history is the Pharsalia. It was the story of the civil wars which ripped through the Roman empire in the time of Julius Caesar. Julius was Rome’s most successful general, and he was very popular with the people of Rome. The Senate did not trust Julius. They suspected (rightly) that he wanted to make himself emperor and do away with the Senatorial system. (Remember, the Senate was like a Parliament running the Roman empire, but only citizens of the highest rank –Patricians- could be Senators.) Caesar cursu (on his journey) superaverat Alpes

animo ceperat (had taken into his mind) motus bellumque futurum (future participle: 'the coming') .

ut ventum est (a passive that doesn't work in English: 'it was come to,' ie, 'When they came to') ad undas parvi Rubiconis

ingens imago patriae visa est duci (by the leader)

(She, the Patria, was) clara per obscuram noctem (with a) vultu maestissima

(She was) effundens canos crines (from her) turrigero vertice (and with) caesarie lacera (and she) adstabat (with) nudis lacertis The Senate needed Julius to fight its wars, but they didn’t want him or his army to return to Rome, so he was ordered to stay in the Province to which the Senate had sent him. The boundary of this province was the river Rubicon. In this extract, Julius leads his army across the river Rubicon, thereby virtually declaring war on the Senate.Lucan is showing here one of the important moments in Roman history.”Crossing the Rubicon” has passed into the English language as a metaphor for taking a step from which there is not turning back.Lucan is showing this as a heroic deed, but personalises the city so that Caesar and Rome are the two characters in this story. Is Caesar rescuing the city, or is he attacking her? This is what she said:
quo tenditis ultra?
quo fertis mea signa, viri?(plural of 'vir' man.)
si iure (by law, legally.)venitis,
si cives (if you come as citizens)
huc usque licet.

horror perculit membra, comae riguere (looks like a passive, but this is perfect 3rd pers. pl. as used in verse), languor (gressum coercens) tenuit vestigia in ripa extrema Lucan

Pharsalia (Civil War)

Caesar crosses the Rubicon

page 140-143 BOOK I

And now Caesar had hastened across the frozen
Alps and had conceived in his heart the great
rebellion and the coming war. When he reached
the little river Rubicon, the general saw a vision of
his distressed country. Her mighty image was
clearly seen in the darkness of night; her face
expressed deep sorrow, and from her head, crowned
with towers,^ the white hair streamed abroad ; she
stood beside him with tresses torn and arms bare,
and her speech was broken by sobs : " Whither do
ye march further ? and whither do ye bear my
standards, ye warriors ? If ye come as law abiding
citizens, here must ye stop." Then trembling smote
the leader's limbs, his hair stood on end, a faintness
stopped his motion and fettered his feet on the edge
of the river-bank. But soon he spoke: '^O God
of thunder, who from the Tarpeian rock lookest out
over the walls of the great city ; O ye Trojan gods
of the house of lulus, and mysteries of Quirinus
snatched from earth ; O Jupiter of Latium, who
dwellest on Alba's height, and ye fires of Vesta;
and thou, O Rome, as sacred a name as any, smile
on my enterprise ; I do not attack thee in frantic
warfare ; behold me here, me Caesar, a conqueror
by land and sea and everywhere thy champion, as I
would be now also, were it possible. His, his shall
be the guilt, who has made me thine enemy."
Then he loosed war from its bonds and carried his
standards in haste over the swollen stream.
When Caesar had
crossed the stream and reached the Italian bank on
the further side, he halted on the forbidden terri-
tory : " Here," he cried, " here I leave peace behind
me and legality which has been scorned already;
henceforth I follow Fortune. Hereafter let me
hear no more of agreements. In them I have put
my trust long enough ; now I must seek the arbitra-
ment of war." C Caesar dict Rubicone
superato civili belli
commilites suos hic in
foro ?? adlocutur. Personification Why and how has personification been used in this extract? Rome as a woman, dressed in a particular way. Her clothing and hair are saying something, especially the way it is disarranged. Torn clothing and loose hair meant distress and mourning in ancient times.
Notice that this is presented as one man against Rome: this makes the personification of the city as more understandable.
Notice that with both characters, the verse refers to their bodies and physical appearnace several times.
Caesar's dilemma is presented in very personal terms: is he defending the city and his 'gens Julia' or is he mounting an assault on a defenceless but virtuous Rome? Is he being selfish or high minded?

Remember that writing an answer to a question like this requires examples and quotations from the Latin, and explanations. Language and vocabulary Notice the choice of words:
"caesarie" for Roma's hair.
the smallness of the stream is emphasised
Caesar appeals to several gods, as though he is out-bidding Roma.
Roma uses the 2nd person plural: she is not speaking to Caesar, but to his men
Caesar himself takes the important action of carrying the standard.
Caesar emphasises his service to Rome as a soldier. hic incipiendum est vobis
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