Posted by Eric » Add Comment »
- quod si non aliam venturo fata Neroni
- invenere viam, magnoque aeterna parantur
- regna deis, caelumque suo servire Tonanti
- non nisi saevorum potuit post bella gigantum,
- iam nihil, o superi, querimur; scelera ipsa nefasque
- hac mercede placent.
But if the fates did not find another way for Nero,
who was going to come, and [if] the eternal kingdoms are bought
by the gods at a great price, and [if] heaven could not serve its Thunderer
except after the wars of the savage Giants,
now, o gods above, we lament over nothing; the very crimes and wickedness
are pleasing for these wages.
Notes: I take magno in 34 as abl. of price, and mercede in 34 seems to be an abl. of price as well (following Braund’s translation here), perhaps in accord with AG 417.b: ‘With verbs of exchanging, either the thing taken or the thing given in exchange may be in the Ablative of Price’. That seems to get at the implicit idea here: ‘We’re ok with the crimes in exchange for the reward of a great king(dom)’.
The word-order in 35-6 is contorted. Something like this: [si] caelum non potuit servire suo Tonanti nisi post bella gigantum saevorum.
I translated the beginning of 37 as ‘we lament over nothing’. It could also be ‘we lament/complain not at all’ or ‘we have no complaint’ (as Braund has it). For the former, the sense would be ‘everything (the bloodshed, etc.) I have complained of hitherto is as nothing’. The latter is perhaps more straightforward. In any case, the declaration is ironic.
I tried to get the formatting right for this but still didn’t get it to start at the right line number. My apologies.