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DE FEMINIS ROMANIS

Sulpicia

The six poems of Sulpicia, a young woman poet of the late first century B.C., are found in the mss. of Tibullus (IV.7-11). She was the daughter of Servius Sulpicius Rufus (see poem iv) and the ward of Valerius Messalla Corvinus (see the second poem).

See Diotima's bibliographies for recent scholarship on Sulpicia.

i

Tandem venit amor, qualem texisse pudori

quam nudasse alicui sit mihi fama magis.
Exorata meis illum Cytherea Camenis
adtulit in nostrum deposuitque sinum.
Exsolvit promissa Venus: mea gaudia narret,
dicetur siquis non habuisse sua.
Non ego signatis quicquam mandare tabellis,
ne legat id nemo quam meus ante, velim,
sed peccasse iuvat, vultus conponere famae
taedet: cum digno digna fuisse ferar.

1-2 pudori, mihi double dative (dative of purpose, dative of reference): "At last love has come, such (a love) that rumor would be more shameful for me (for shame, leading to shame) to have hidden it than to have uncovered it to anyone."
3. Cytherea = Aphrodite
Camenis are the Roman version of the Muses, i.e. poetry. Sulpicia has won her love by her poetry, with Aphrodite acting as intermediary.
illum is Cerinthus, the man in her life, named in poems 2 and 4.
4 depono put down, plant, entrust for safekeeping
6 siquis if anyone Is it masculine or feminine? (You decide: is sua her own or his own? Or must we say his/her own?)
8 quam ... ante = antequam
meus my own true love
10 ferar "may I be said/reported to..."

ii

Invisus natalis adest, qui rure molesto

et sine Cerintho tristis agendus erit.
Dulcius urbe quid est? an villa sit apta puellae
atque Arrentino frigidus amnis agro?
Iam nimium Messalla mei studiose, quiescas,
heu tempestivae, saeve propinque, viae!
Hic animum sensusque meos abducta relinquo,
arbitrio quamvis non sinis esse meo.

3 urbe ablative of comparison
4 amnis river, stream
5 Messalla is her guardian.
mei objective genitive with studiose, voc. of studiosus sollicitous
iam quiescas "Now do give it a rest."
6 tempestivus early, seasonable, in season
propinquus near; as a noun, relative
For heu other texts read neu or non.
8 arbitrium judgment, control

iii

Scis iter ex animo sublatum triste puellae?

natali Romae iam licet esse suo.
Omnibus ille dies nobis natalis agatur,
qui nec opinanti nunc tibi forte venit.

1. triste with iter.

iv

Gratum est, securus multum quod iam tibi de me

permittis, subito ne male inepta cadam.
Sit tibi cura togae potior pressumque quasillo
scortum quam Servi filia Sulpicia:
Solliciti sunt pro nobis, quibus illa dolori est,
ne cedam ignoto, maxima causa, toro.

1 gratum est (= gratias ago) "thanks a lot" (sarcastic)
securus carefree, unconcerned, sure
quod the fact that
1-2 multum tibi permittis you allow yourself plenty of freedom
3 toga a lower class woman of "loose character" (used generally)
quasillum / quasillus wool basket
4 scortum a prostitute (the specific tramp Cerinthus is hanging out with)
5 dolori dative of purpose
6 cedam < cedo yield to, give up my place to
ignotus unknown, obscure, low
torus couch, bed, liaison

v

Estne tibi, Cerinthe, tuae pia cura puellae,

quod mea nunc vexat corpora fessa calor?
A ego non aliter tristes evincere morbos
optarim, quam te si quoque velle putem.
At mihi quid prosit morbos evincere, si tu
nostra potes lento pectore ferre mala?

1 tuae puellae objective genitive, translate "for ..."
2 calor fever (of passion or illness)
3 aliter otherwise optarim = optaverim, potential subjunctive
5 prosit < prosum (subjunctive in a mixed condition)
6 lentus slow, easy, indifferent

vi

Ne tibi sim, mea lux, aeque iam fervida cura

ac videor paucos ante fuisse dies,
si quicquam tota conmisi stulta iuventa,
cuius me fatear paenituisse magis,
hesterna quam te solum quod nocte reliqui,
ardorem cupiens dissimulare meum.

1 sim optative subjunctive
2 ante ago
ac as
3 tota iuventa ablative (of time within which)
stulta nominative
cuius objective genitive with paenituisse


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