Oct. 27th, 2005 07:43 am
edg: (I'm With Stupid)
Reflecting that it was on these monotonous performances [the rote rhetoric based on fantastic premises by which Roman students learned to speak], these far-fetched and wilful exaggerations, these false and unwholesome data, that the whole edifice of higher education in Rome was reared, it is easy to understand that toward the middle of the second century Latin letters began to perish from such an abuse of literature. The decay of a civilisation is heralded by these laborious eccentricities, by the mental malnutrition to which the pick of Rome's youth was doomed, having no other intellectual sustenance than this thin soup. For fear of being accused of ignorance, the ambitious youth who wished to dazzle and astonish his audience substituted memory for thought, affectation for sincerity, grimaces and contortions for natural expression, and for a natural voice forced outbursts and calculated roars practised in advance.

-- Jérôme Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome
Trans. E.O. Lorimer

omg ru seroius????// lol ^__________^ stfu noob
edg: (Jackassery)
I have spent a solid hour trying to work out one sentence, because one word didn't make sense in context and I couldn't make the sentence work without it.

...[dicens] omnium eundem esse exitum et idem domicilium, et cetera quibus exulceratae mentes ad sanitatem revocantur.

It was quibus that I couldn't fit. (Dicens is in brackets because it's implied.) And I bashed my head against it, and I tried rearranging the sentence to make revocantur the verb for the whole thing, and I squished it and squashed it every way I could think of (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] melpomenes_mask!), and then it dawned on me, like I was hit over the head with an iron bar:

Only the first half of that sentence is indirect statement.

And now it makes sense.

...[saying] "the death of all is the same, and the dwelling the same", and the rest by which sore minds are called back to health.

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