Prosa 3:B. recognizes Philosophia (hereinafter: P.); she explains why she has come.
haud aliter: "in no other way," i.e., "similarly"; suggests that the whole preceding metrum is a comparison to illustrate what now occurs. ad cognoscendam . . . faciem: "to recognize the face"; gerundive of purpose.
respicio: historical present. cuius: with laribus . laribus: < lares , "household gods" (by metonymy, "home"). obversatus: < obversor , "move about [in the presence of]." fueram: used with participle to create the pluperfect, as often in post-classical Latin.
supero cardine: "from the highest vault (of the sky)." delapsa: often used of the descent of a heavenly figure. an: sc. venisti ; introducing a further question. ut: introduces purpose clause to suggest why she may have come to B. rea: nominative; "(as) a defendant."
desererem . . . partirer: potential subjunctive, imperfect tense indicating past time. sarcinam: accusative singular, "burden." invidia: ablative of cause. sustulisti: < suffero , "undergo, bear."
relinquere: governed by fas erat , a common construction in B.; for the idea, cf. 1M1.6. scilicet: ironical: "so doubtless I should fear . . ." The idea is that P. is constantly a victim of such slanders.
primum: adverb, "for the first time." lacessitam: < lacesso , "strike." Nonne: introduces question expecting affirmative answer ( Nonne . . . certavimus : "didn't we struggle . . .?"). Platonis aetatem: Plato lived c. 429-347 B.C. eodem superstite: ablative absolute, "[although] the same [Plato] survived." Socrates: d. 399 B.C.
Epicureum . . . Stoicum: adjectives modifying vulgus ("rabble"). Stoicism and Epicureanism arose about a century after Socrates' lifetime. raptum ire: supine of purpose, "to [make a movement to] snatch." renitentem: "resisting, struggling." velut in partem praedae: "as if to be part of their booty." panniculis: "scraps of cloth." totam me: literally, "all of me," hence with cessisse , "I had yielded totally." abiere = abierunt , < abeo .
rata: < reor ("think"), modifies imprudentia (subject of pervertit ) and governs the indirect statement meos esse familiares . pervertit: "ruined, destroyed."
Quodsi: "But if"; common in B. Anaxagorae: genitive < Anaxagoras , an Ionian philosopher and friend of Pericles; he left Athens c. 432 B.C. (or c. 450?) after a charge of impiety was raised against him. Zenonis tormenta: The steadfastness under torture of Zeno of Elea (born c. 490 B.C., disciple of Parmenides; cf. 1P1.10) was proverbial, but different versions of the story gave different names for the torturer. novisti: < nosco , "learn." The perfect means "to know" (i.e., "to have learned"). at: "yet, on the other hand." Canios: Canius was killed by the emperor Gaius (= Caligula, who reigned 37-41 A.D.); see 1.P4.27 for an anecdote on his fate. The plurals are used only to generalize the fate of philosophers. Senecas: L. Annaeus Seneca ("the younger", d. 65 A.D.), once tutor to Nero, later driven to suicide by his pupil. Soranos: Soranus, like Canius and Seneca, was a Stoic philosopher (it is only the Stoicum vulgus for which P. has just indicated a distaste); like Seneca, he was driven to suicide by Nero after false accusations.
ammirere = admireris (subjunctive in characterizing relative clause). salo: < salum , "the high sea." quibus: "(we) to whom." pessimis displicere: in apposition with hoc .
spernendus: "to be despised." lymphante: < lympho , "madden"; modifies errore .
Qui: sc. exercitus . si quando: "if ever," followed by perfect subjunctive incubuerit (< incumbo , "throw oneself upon, oppress"). valentior: modifies the subject, with virtually adverbial force. dux: here feminine (modified by nostra ); perhaps Philosophy herself is meant, perhaps Sapientia (with an echo of a similar scene in Prudentius's allegorical battle of virtues and vices, the Psychomachia [lines 875ff]). This army at least has a dux , while the other has none ( nullo duce regitur ). illi: sc. pessimi . diripiendas: gerundive for gerund, as usual; with sarcinulas (diminutive < sarcina , "pack"). occupantur: "are occupied, are busy."
vilissima rerum quaeque: "every thing of least value" (with comparative and superlative adjectives, quisque means "every"). The phrase is the object of rapientes ("[those] snatching"), a participle which is itself the object of irridemus . securi: nominative, "free from care"; agrees with nos and governs the genitive phrase totius furiosi tumultus . quo: "whither." grassanti: < grassor , "prowl, attack." sit: subjunctive, characteristic relative clause.