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Prosa 5:

Thrones are not true sources of potentia .

regumque familiaritas: B. was no king, but he had hobnobbed with a king; the phrase points the moral.

qui reges . . . mutaverint: reges has been attracted into the relative clause; translate, "[examples of] kings who . . ."

qua parte: "in some part," i.e., "somewhere."

quibus: dative with imperet .

Qua . . . parte: "where." beatos faciens: almost the equivalent of a relative clause modifying potestas . hac: "there," correlated with qua . . . parte above. subintrat: "enters secretly."

Expertus: "having experienced, known"; governs genitive ( periculorum ). metus: accusative plural. The "sword of Damocles" (hung by the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse [405-367 B.C.]) was already proverbial.

aculeos: "stings, barbs." vellent vixisse: "they would have liked to have lived . . ." Subject must be supplied from the exempla of sec. 2, hence the past potential subjunctive and perfect infinitive.

qui satellite latus ambit: "who surrounds [his] flank ( latus ) with a bodyguard."

imbecillitatis: "weakness, helplessness." incolumis: "unharmed"; nominative.

adeligendae mortis . . . arbitrium: "to the choice of opting for death," i.e., to suicide. Papinianum: a famous Roman jurist, executed in 212 A.D. by the emperor Antoninus Caracalla. aulicos: "courtiers." gladiis: dative with obiecit ("handed over to the sword").

uterque: "both"; often, as here, with plural verb. potentiae: dative with renuntiare , "renounce." otium: here, "retirement." dum: "since"; see on 1P1.1. ruituros: < ruo , "fall headlong." moles ipsa: sc. regnorum magnorum .

praesidio: dative of purpose. infortunium faciet inimicum: cf. 2P8.6.

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  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 1.p1
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