XXV[25arg] The meaning of manubiae is asked and discussed; with some observations as to the propriety of using several words of the same meaning.
ALL along the roof of the colonnades of Trajan's forum 1 there are placed gilded statues of horses and representations of military standards, and underneath is written Ex manubiis. Favorinus inquired, when he was walking in the court of the forum, waiting for [p. 489] his friend the consul, who was hearing cases from the tribunal—and I at the time was in attendance on him—he asked, I say, what that inscription manubiae seemed to us really to mean. Then one of those who were with him, a man of a great and wide-spread reputation for his devotion to learned pursuits, said: “Ex manubiis is the same as ex praeda; for manubiae is the term for booty which is taken mann, that is 'by hand.'” Then Favorinus rejoined: “Although my principal and almost my entire attention has been given to the literature and arts of Greece, I am nevertheless not so inattentive to the Latin language, to which I devote occasional or desultory study, as to be unaware of this common interpretation of manubiae, which makes it a synonym of praeda. But I raise the question, whether Marcus Tullius, a man most careful in his diction, in the speech which he delivered against Rullus on the first of January On the Agrarian Law, joined manubiae and praeda by an idle and inelegant repetition, if it be true that these two words have the same meaning and do not differ in any respect at all.” And then, such was Favorinus' marvellous and almost miraculous memory, he at once added Cicero's own words. These I have appended: 2 “The decemvirs will sell the booty (praedam), the proceeds of the spoils (manubias), the goods reserved for public auction, in fact Gnaeus Pompeius' camp, while the general sits looking on”; and just below he again used these two words in conjunction: 3 “From the booty (ex praeda), from the proceeds of the spoils (ex manubiis), from the crown-money.” 4 Then, turning to the man who had said that manubiae was the same as praeda, Favorinus said, "Does it seem to you that in both [p. 491] these passages Marcus Cicero weakly and frigidly used two words which, as you think, mean the same thing, thus showing himself deserving of the ridicule with which in Aristophanes, the wittiest of comic writers, Euripides assailed Aeschylus, saying: 5
Wise Aeschylus has said the same thing twice;“But by no means,” said he, “do Cicero's words seem like such repetitions as μάκτρα, pot, and κάρδοπος, pan, which are used either by our own poets or orators and those of the Greeks, for the purpose of giving weight or adornment to their subject by the use of two or more words of the same meaning.” “Pray,” said Favorinus, "what force has this repetition and recapitulation of the same thing under another name in manubiae and praeda? It does not adorn the sentence, does it, as is sometimes the case? It does not make it more exact or more melodious, does it? Does it make an effective cumulation of words designed to strengthen the accusation or brand the crime? As, for example, in the speech of the same Marcus Tullius On the Appointment of an Accuser one and the same thing is expressed in several words with force and severity: 6 ' All Sicily, if it could speak with one voice, would say this: “Whatever gold, whatever silver, whatever jewels I had in my cities, abodes and shrines.'” For having once mentioned the cities as a whole, he added 'abodes' and 'shrines,' which are themselves a [p. 493] part of the cities. Also in the same oration he says in a similar manner: 7 'During three years Gaius Verres is said to have plundered the province of Sicily, devastated the cities of the Sicilians, emptied their homes, pillaged their shrines.' Does he not seem to you, when he had mentioned the province of Sicily and had besides added the cities as well, to have included the houses also and the shrines, which he later mentioned? So too do not those many and varied words, 'plundered, devastated, emptied, pillaged,' have one and the same force? They surely do. But since the mention of them all adds to the dignity of the speech and the impressive copiousness of its diction, although they are nearly the same and spring from a single idea, yet they appear to contain more meaning because they strike the ears and mind more frequently. "This kind of adornment, by heaping up in a single charge a great number of severe terms, was frequently used even in early days by our most ancient orator, the famous Marcus Cato, in his speeches; for example in the one entitled On the Ten, when he accused Thermus because he had put to death ten freeborn men at the same time, he used the following words of the same meaning, which, as they are brilliant flashes of Latin eloquence, which was just then coming into being, I have thought fit to call to mind: 8 'You seek to cover up your abominable crime with a still worse crime, you slaughter men like swine, you commit frightful bloodshed, you cause ten deaths, slay ten freemen, take life from ten men, untried, unjudged, uncondemned.' So too Marcus Cato, at the beginning of the speech which he delivered in the senate, In Defence [p. 495] of the Rhodians, wishing to describe too great prosperity, used three words which mean the same thing. 9 His language is as follows: I know that most men in favourable, happy and prosperous circumstances are wont to be puffed up in spirit and to increase in arrogance and haughtiness.' In the seventh book of his Origins too, 10 in the speech which he spoke Against Servius Galba, Cato used several words to express the same thing: 11 ' Many things have dissuaded me from appearing here, my years, my time of life, my voice, my strength, my old age; but nevertheless, when I reflected that so important a matter was being discussed... "But above all in Homer there is a brilliant heaping up of the same idea and thought, in these lines: 12
'I come into the land,' says he, 'and enter it.'
But 'enter' and ' come into' are the same.
By Heaven, yes! It's just as if one said
To a neighbour: 'Use the pot, or else the pan'?
Zeus from the weapons, from the dust and blood,Also in another verse: 13
From carnage, from the tumult Hector bore.
Engagements, battles, carnage, deaths of men.For although all those numerous synonymous terms mean nothing more than 'battle,' yet the varied aspects of this concept are elegantly and charmingly depicted by the use of several different words. And in the same poet this one thought is repeated with admirable effect by the use of two words; for Idaeus, when he interrupted the armed contest of Hector and Ajax, addressed them thus: 14
No longer fight, dear youths, nor still contend,[p. 497] and in this verse it ought not to be supposed that the second word, meaning the same as the first, was added and lugged in without reason, merely to fill out the metre; for that is utterly silly and false. But while he gently and calmly chided the obstinate fierceness and love of battle in two youths burning with a desire for glory, he emphasized and impressed upon them the atrocity of the act and the sin of their insistence by adding one word to another; and that double form of address made his admonition more impressive. Nor ought the following repetition of the same thought to seem any more weak and cold: 15
With death the suitors threatened, and with fate, Telemachus,because he said the same thing twice in θάνατον (death) and μόρον (fate); for the heinousness of attempting so cruel and unjust a murder is deplored by the admirable repetition of the word meaning 'death.' Who too is of so dull a mind as not to understand that in 16
Away, begone, dire dream,and 17
Away, begone, swift Iris,two words of the same meaning are not used to no purpose, ἐκ παραλλήλων, 'as the repetition of two similar words,' as some think, but are a vigorous exhortation to the swiftness which is enjoined? “Also those thrice repeated words in the speech of Marcus Cicero Against Lucius Piso, although displeasing to men of less sensitive ears, did not merely aim at elegance, but buffeted Piso's assumed expression [p. 499] of countenance by the rhythmical accumulation of several words. Cicero says: 18 Finally, your whole countenance, which is, so to speak, the silent voice of the mind, this it was that incited men to crime, this deceived, tricked, cheated those to whom it was not familiar.' Well then,” continued Favorinus, "is the use of praeda and manubiae in the same writer similar to this? Truly, not at all! For by the addition of manubiae the sentence does not become more ornate, more forcible, or more euphonius; but manubiae means one thing, as we learn from the books on antiquities and on the early Latin, praeda quite another. For praeda is used of the actual objects making up the booty, but manubiae designates the money collected by the quaestor from the sale of the booty. Therefore Marcus Tullius, in order to rouse greater hatred of the decemvirs, said that they would carry off and appropriate the two: both the booty which had not yet been sold and the money which had been received from the sale of the booty. “Therefore this inscription which you see, ex manubiis, does not designate the objects and the mass of booty itself, for none of these was taken from the enemy by Trajan, but it declares that these statues were made and procured 'from the manubiae,' that is, with the money derived from the sale of the booty. For manubiae means, as I have already said, not booty, but money collected from the sale of the booty by a quaestor of the Roman people. But when I said 'by the quaestor,' one ought now to understand that the praefect of the treasury is meant. For the charge of the treasury has been transferred from the quaestors to praefects. 19 However, it is possible to find instances in which [p. 501] writers of no little fame have written in such a way as to use praeda for manubiae or manubiae for praeda, either from carelessness or indifference; or by some metaphorical figure they have interchanged the words, which is allowable when done with judgment and skill. But those who have spoken properly and accurately, as did Marcus Tullius in that passage, have used manubiae of money.”