Tacitus /

edited by Cynthia Damon

Collocatio Verborum

[[NB. bold numbers below indicate the relevant chapter or chapter and sentence in the Agricola.]]

1. Transposition of cognomen: 2 Aruleno Rustico, Paetus Thrasea; 45 Carus Mettius, Massa Baebius.

2. Predicate in attributive position: 10 rariores; 18 nota, proprius; 21 frequens; 22 intrepida; 25 aperto; 32 aegra; 39 imperatoriam; 43 caeca et conrupta; 44 incolumi, florente, salvis. (xxvi)

3. Predicate precedes by way of emphasis, thus often obviating an asseverative particle like profecto, vero, quidem, etc.: 4 arcebat; 6 vixeruntque; 6 auctus; 8 praeerat; 8 temperavit; 8 habuerunt; 9 credunt plerique; 12 gignit; 16 missus; 16 didicere; 22 adnotabant periti; 33 excepere; 38 satisque constabat ...; 38 datae; 39 inerat; 40 tradiderat; 40 credidere plerique; 41 insecuta; 41 poscebatur; 42 aderat; 42 accessere; 43 augebat; 44 natus; 45 non vidit; 45 excepissemus. In asyndetic collocations: 5.2; 15.3; 18.2; 31.4; 32.3; 34.3; 44.4; with chiasmus in the last member, 5.1; 32.2; 38.1. Exception: 2 dedimus profecto. Generally in ablative absolute constructions, e.g., 9 comitante; 11 amissa; 18 caesaque; 18 depositis; 18 petita; 28 occiso; 29 praemissa; 35 adloquente; 37 oblatis; 38 acceptis. Exceptions: 14.2; 26.2; 38.4; 39.1; 43.3; 44.4.

4. A word belonging to two other words is generally placed between them:

1 aliqua; 8 suam; 43 illud; 7 Domitiano; 22 hostibus; 32 res; 32 fulgor; 32 municipia; 33 Britannia; 28 duobus; 3 erit; 43 est; 11 deprehendas; 13 vocabat; 17 amplexus; 20 circumdatae; 42 deerat; 44 crederes; 6, 7, 24, 35, 42 simul; 11 pariter; 15 plerumque; 7 bonos; 13 posteris.

5.The adjective follows its noun: 2, 3 humani (ae); 7 consularibus, praetorius; but 10, 15, 24, 35, Romanus precedes. This proper adjective is very rarely postpositive in Tacitus, except with res, which habitually precedes its attributive. In 19 publicae rei was necessary, because res publica has a specific meaning; 33 secundae res, because of adversae following. See above (4). In 3 securitas publica is a fixed phrase, like res publica. The few other exceptions are due to stylistic reasons; 7 classis Othoniana; 19 studiis privatis (very unusual); 27 loca tuta; 29 pugnae prioris; 32 dominationi alienae; 36 tres, duas; 44 opibus nimiis. The adjec- (xxvii) tival pronouns, on the other hand, are usually postpositive, and primus, as in 24 nave prima, frequently so.

6. Ablative absolutes are very frequently in this work found at the end of the sentence: 2.2; 2.3; 7.2; 9.6; 14.1; 14.3; 15.3; 22.1; 23; 30.1; 44.4.

7. Anastrophe is still very rare in the minor writings, the Agricola having only one instance: 26 ultro quin etiam. So always in Tacitus, except Dial. 29 and Ann. XII.61. — 4 prima in iuventa is not a case in point.

8. Repetition of preposition, though not uncommon in Tacitus, is almost wholly confined to adversative clauses: 5 de; 5 ex; 8, 32 in; 8 extra.

9. Anaphora: 15 nihil; 32 nullae ... nulli; 30 non; 15, 18 qui; 18 hunc ... has; 25 hinc; 32 hic; 20 ipse; 25 sua ... suos; 45 noster ... nostram ... nobis; 45 nos; 32, 45 tot; 33 quando; 46 si; 46 quidquid; 46 id ... sic; 19 omnia; 9 procul; 25, 36, 41 simul; 41 absens; 31 cotidie; 40 noctu; 15 aeque; 16 alterius; 45 cum.

10. Polysyndeton: This stylistic device, much more rarely employed than the asyndeton, draws attention to each single element in the enumeration; the asyndeton, on the other hand, gives a cumulative effect, and is especially used in vivid narrative or description: 5.3; 9.3; 18.4; 21.2; 30.1; 31.2; 31.4; 32.4; 37.3; 40.1; 45.1; 46.2.

11. Asyndeton:

a.    Enumerative: 3.2; 5.2; 12.3; 15.3; 15.3; 16.5; 18.2; 21.1; 30.4; 31.1 (in symmetrical groups); 32.3; 34.3; 36.3; 37.2; 38.1; 38.2; 40.4; 43.1; 44.4; 45.4. With chiasmus in the last member to round off the period: 5.1; 28.1; 32.2; 33.5 (double chiasmus); 36.2. (xxviii)

b.    Adversative, usually composed of two members, and often symmetrically balanced: 3.1; 3.2; 10.3; 12.1; 12.3; 12.5; 13.2 (chiastic); 15.2; 15.3; 16.4; 19.3; 20.2; 21.1; 22.3; 25.3 (chiastic); 27.2; 30.1; 33.3; 33.5; 39.1; 41.4.

c.    In Tacitus an asyndetic group is often followed by an et clause (more rarely ac or atque), contrary to classic usage. In all the instances in the Agricola, the last member thus added is amplified, and either adds a new idea or sums up: 9.3; 11.2; 13.3; [17.1]; 20.2; 31.4 (ac); 36.2 (chiastic); 37.2 (atque); 41.3.

12. Chiasmus: 2.2; 5.1; 5.3; 8.1; 10.2; 12.6; 13.2; 17.2; 19.4; 20.2; 24.3; 25.3; 28.1; 32.2; 33.5; 36.1; 36.2; 39.2; 41.4; 42.2; 43.1; 43.2; 44.5; 45.3; 46.1.

13. Alliteration: This device is conspicuous in all archaic poetry, for the Greek constitutes only an apparent exception, inasmuch as the Homeric and Hesiodic epics, though they represent for us the beginning of Greek literature, are themselves the flower of a long development. In Latin, Lucretius is the last great poet to employ alliteration to any noticeable extent, even Vergil using it but sparingly. In prose, excepting a number of formulaic or proverbial expressions, it seems to have been intentionally avoided, except in Tacitus, who throughout all his writings from the Dialogus down, evinces a peculiar fondness for such collocations, often using them with special effect to emphasize an antithesis: 33 flumina fatigarent, fortissimi; 42 famam fatumque; 46 formamque ac figuram; 36 mucrones ac manus; 6 subsidium simul et solacium; 16 seditio sine sanguine stetit; 39 secreto suo satiatus; 34 silvas saltusque; 1 virtus vicit; 18 victoriam vocabat victos; 33 vota virtusque; 27 coetibus ac sacrificiis conspiratione civitatum sancirent (double); and especially noteworthy: 46 veterum velut — inglorios ... ignobiles — oblivio obruit. In antithesis: 5 ex magna fama quam ex mala; 8 virtute ... verecundia; 11 in deposcendis ... in detrectandis; 19 poena ... paenitentia; 22 offendere ... odisse; 33 victoribus ... victis; 41 accusatus ... absolutus; 41 virtutibus ... vitiis; 43 patre ... principem. (xxix)

14. Libration: A symmetrical collocation of words and clauses was one of the three prerequisites of an artistic style.[57] It accordingly constitutes one of the conspicuous features, particularly of the smaller works of Tacitus, in which he had not yet emancipated himself from earlier models. The later writings (excepting the speeches), owing to their studied conciseness, did not admit of so careful an equilibrium of clauses. While the numerous instances in the Agricola are, to some extent, directly due to the antithetical form in which the author is fond of casting his thoughts, his design to librate them stylistically is made manifest by the frequent accumulation of synonyms and a certain fullness of expression which subserve the purpose referred to. In the later writings, with the comparatively rarer occurrence of libration, these features are also no longer so prominent. The most noteworthy instances in this treatise are found in: 2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 3.1 (2x); 5.1; 8.3; 9.4; 10.5; 11.3; 12.2; 12.5; 12.6; 13.1; 15.2 (2x); 19.3; 21.1; 25.1; 26.2; 27.1; 30.1; 30.3; 30.4; 31.1; 31.2; 32.1; 32.3; 33.3; 33.4; 34.1; 38.1; 38.2; 40.3; 41.4; 43.1; 44.2; 44.4 (2x); 45.1 (2x); 45.3; 46.2; 46.3; 46.4 (3x).

15.Synonyms: The accumulation of virtually synonymous expressions is characteristic of Latin writers generally. It was primarily due to rhetorical and not rarely to rhythmical reasons. In T. examples are particularly abundant in the minor writings, the Dialogus and the Agricola containing about the same number of instances, while the Germania, owing doubtless to its scientific character, has only about one-half as many: 1.1 (2x); 1.2; 1.3; 2.2; 3.1; 3.3; 4.2 (2x); 4.3 (3x); 6.3; 8.2; 9.3; 10.2; 10.5; 12.1; 14.1; 15.3; 16.4; 16.5; 18.5; 19.3; 20.3; 21.1; 29.1; 29.4; 30.1; 30.3 (2x); 31.1 (2x); 31.4; 32.1; 32.2; 32.4; 33.3 (2x); 33.5 (2x); 33.6; 34.3; 36.1 (2x); 36.3; 40.2; 40.3; 40.4; 41.3; 41.4; 42.4; 43.1; 44.5; 45.1; 46.1; 46.3; 46.4 (2x).

16. Pleonastic phrases: 1 temporibus ... actas; 3 primo statim ... ortu; 3 exactae aetatis terminos; 5 prima ... rudimenta; 7 hostiliter populatur; 8 brevi deinde; 16 innocens ... nullis delictis; (xxx) 22 formidine territi; 22 soliti plerumque; 37 pulsos in fugam; and perhaps 28 adactis per vim.

17. It is a peculiarity of Tacitus to combine two nouns of similar meaning, so that the second, very rarely the first, is a specific term more closely defining or merely emphasizing the other: 2 comitio ac foro (but see note); 8 labores et discrimina; 9 conventus ac iudicia; 12 caelum et sidera; 13 bella ... arma; 21 habitus nostri ... toga; 33 fama et rumore; 25, 33 manus et arma; 30 proelium atque arma; 31 verbera ac contumelias; 32 adspectus et ... fulgor; 39 habitus et crines; 40 viso adspectoque; 41 limite imperii et ripa; 45 exilia et fugas.

18. Akin to this usage is the collocation of two substantives by an epexegetic et, rarely ac or atque: 1 ignorantiam recti et invidiam; 4 ratio et aetas; 5 voluptates et conmeatus; 5 summa rerum et reciperatae provinciae gloria; 6 et silentium; 16 ira et victoria; 26 inter somnum ac trepidationem; 29 legationibus et foederibus; 30 recessus ipse ac sinus famae; 43 vulgus ... et hic populus; 45 vultus et rubor.

19. Hypallage: 4 omnem honestarum artium cultum, used to avoid a double attributive.

20. Prolepsis: 12 nunc per principes (=nunc principibus per quos); 15 e quibus legatus ... procurator (= legatum ... procuratorem, e quibus ille ... hic); 39 ut Domitiano moris erat ... excepit (= Domitianus ut ei moris erat ... excepit).

21. Climax: 18.4; 30.1; 30.3; 30.4.

 

FOOTNOTES

[57] The other two are euphony and rhythm. See especially the famous chapters in Cic. Orat. 140ff.

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