Friday, May 25, 2012

Cum servos fueris...

Here is today's distich by Cato (so-called), 4.44, with English translations by Duff and Chase.

Cum servos fueris proprios mercatus in usus
Et famulos dicas, homines tamen esse memento.

When you've bought slaves to serve your own sweet will,
Though servants called, they're men, remember, still.

When servants thou hast bought, remember then,
Altho' thou term'st them slaves, they still are men.

The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There is only one word in this poem that is not on the DCC list:

mercor, -ārī - buy, purchase, trade, deal in

cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
dīco dīcere dīxī dictum: say; causam dicere, plead a case; diem dicere, appoint a day
et: and
famulus -ī m.; famula -ae f.: house-slave, servant
homo hominis m.: human being
in: in, on (+ abl.); into onto (+ acc)
meminī meminisse: remember, recollect
proprius -a -um: one’s own, peculiar
servus -ī m.: slave
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tamen: nevertheless, still
ūsus -ūs m.: use, experience