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Delenda Carthago

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Flash
38473.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:34 pm Reply with quote

A comparably ungrammatical-but-readily-comprehensible English phrase might be something like "Carthage out!"

 
JumpingJack
38500.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:09 pm Reply with quote

Well put, Flash. Rather snappier than my "Carthage Destroyable!" which sounds like a rather hopeless newspaper headline...

96aelw

May we have a quote from Pliny in the original Latin please? That would be extremely helpful if you have it to hand.

Celebaelin

Good plan to write to a Higher Authority. I only know what I have recently discovered as a result of this thread. It'd be great to have a definitive answer. Look forward to your report in due course.

 
JumpingJack
38508.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:22 pm Reply with quote

96

Thanks to your reference, I was able to source Pliny's Natural History, Book XV, Para 74 myself and it reads as follows:

Quote:
Sed a Catone appellata iam tum Africana admonet Africae ad ingens docimentum usi eo pomo. namque perniciali odio Carthaginis flagrans nepotumque securitatis anxius, cum clamaret omni senatu Carthaginem delendam, adtulit quodam die in curiam praecocem ex ea provincia ficum ostendensque patribus: Interrogo vos, inquit, quando hanc pomum demptam putetis ex arbore.


You'll see that Pliny does not in fact use the words 'Delenda Carthago' as such – the words are in a different case and a different order.

 
Celebaelin
38514.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:39 pm Reply with quote

JumpingJack wrote:
Celebaelin

Good plan to write to a Higher Authority. I only know what I have recently discovered as a result of this thread. It'd be great to have a definitive answer. Look forward to your report in due course.


I'll send you the executive summary; )

 
Celebaelin
38542.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:31 pm Reply with quote

For the sake of my own interest I went in search of Pliny and found the following rather interesting story which I’ve brought here for anyone who fancies a read. It seems to demonstrate that the Latin of Pliny was a fairly concise language, or that Philemon Holland, the translator (1601), was fulsome in his interpretation of the text.

Quote:
Pliny's Natural History, Book XV, Para 74-76

Now for as much as we are fallen to mention the figs in Affricke, which were in so great request in the time of Cato, I am put in mind to speake soemwhat of that notable opportunitie and occasion, which by the meanes of that fruit he tooke for to root out the Carthaginians, and rase their very citie. For as he was a man who hated deadly that citie, & was otherwise carefull to provide for the quiet and securitie of his posteritie, he gave not over at every sitting of the Senate, to importune the Senators of Rome, and to crie out in their eares, That they would resolve and take order to destroy Carthage. And in very truth, one day above the rest, he brought with him into the Senate house an early or hastie fig which came out of that countrey: and shewing it before all the lords of the Senate, I would demaund of you (quoth he) how long agoe it is (as you think) since this figge was gathered from the tree? And when none of them could denie but that it was fresh and new gotten. Lo (quoth he) my maisters all, this I doe you to weet, It is not yet full three daies past, since this figge was gathered at Carthage: see how neare to the wals of our cittie, wee have a mortall enemie. Upon which remonstrance of his, presently they concluded to begin the third and last Punicke warre, wherein Carthage was utterly subverted and overthrowne. Howbeit, Cato survived not the rasing and saccage of Carthage, for he died the yeare immediatly following this resolution. But what shall we say of this man? whether was more admirable in this act, his provident care and promptnesse of spirit; or the occasion presented by the suddaine object of the fig? was the present resolution and forward expedition of the Senate, or the vehement earnestnesse of Cato, more effectuall to this enterprise? Certes, somewhat there is above all, and nothing in mine opinion more wonderfull, that so great a signorie and state as Carthage, which had contended for the Empire of the world for the space of a hundred and twentie years, & that, with the great conquerors of the Romanes, should thus be ruined and brought to nought, by occasion of one fig. A desseigne, that neither the fields lost at Trebia and Thrasymenus, nor the disgrace received at the battell of Canna, wherein so many brave Romanes lost their lives and left their dead bodies on the ground to be enterred, could never effect: nay not the disdain that they tooke to see the Carthaginians encamped and fortified within three miles of Rome, ne yet the bravadoes of Anniball in peson riding before the gate Collina, even to dare them, could ever bring to passe. See how Cato by the meanes of one poore fig, prevailed to bring and present the forces of Rome to the very wals of Carthage.

Cato and the fig: the story is told, with some variation, by Plutarch Cato the Elder (xxvii); cf. Tertullianus Ad Nationes Liber II cap. xvi.

Trebia, Thrasymenus, Canna: in the Second Punic War. See Florus Epitomae de Tito Livio: Liber I xxii.

Hannibal at the Collina gate, etc.: see Livy: XXVI.10.



http://penelope.uchicago.edu/holland/pliny15.html

Quote:
74
Sed a Catone appellata iam tum Africana admonet Africae ad ingens docimentum usi eo pomo. namque perniciali odio Carthaginis flagrans nepotumque securitatis anxius, cum clamaret omni senatu Carthaginem delendam, adtulit quodam die in curiam praecocem ex ea provincia ficum ostendensque patribus: Interrogo vos, inquit, quando hanc pomum demptam putetis ex arbore.
75
cum inter omnes recentem esse constaret: Atqui tertium, inquit, ante diem scitote decerptam Carthagine. tam prope a moeris habemus hostem! statimque sumptum est Punicum tertium bellum, quo Carthago deleta est, quamquam Catone anno sequente rapto. quid primum in eo miremur, curam ingeni an occasionem fortuitam, celeritatemque cursus an vehementiam viri?
76
super omnia est, quo nihil equidem duco mirabilius, tantam illam urbem et de terrarum orbe per CXX annos aemulam unius pomi argumento eversam, quod non Trebia aut Trasimenus, non Cannae busto Romani nominis perficere potuere, non castra Punica ad tertium lapidem vallata portaeque Collinae adequitans ipse Hannibal. tanto propius Carthaginem pomo Cato admovit!


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/L/Roman/Texts/Pliny_the_Elder/15*.html

In Tertullianus Ad Nationes Liber II only the anecdote of the fig is mentioned

Quote:
The green fig of Africa nobody at Rome had heard of when Cato introduced it to the Senate, in order that he might show how near was that province of the enemy whose subjugation he was constantly urging.


http://www.tertullian.org/latin/ad_nationes_2.htm
http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf03/anf03-16.htm#P1584_589379

 
JumpingJack
38564.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:53 pm Reply with quote

Very interesting. It's never occured to me before that Latin was particularly concise though, you're right, Philemon Holland is pretty flowery...

 
Jenny
38608.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:31 pm Reply with quote

Ignorant as I generally am of Latin, its conciseness is one of the things I enjoy about it. Remember the famous comment Peccavi* by General Charles Napier to his brother, after the capture of Sind?

* For the benefit of those with even less Latin than me, 'Peccavi' means 'I have sinned'.

 
Flash
38613.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:40 pm Reply with quote

Although that isn't really an example of Latin terseness, so much as an early bit of English text-speak (because it doesn't mean "I have conquered Sind" in Latin).

BTW, I read somewhere recently that it was a myth that he sent this signal, though I can't remember where.

 
Flash
38614.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:43 pm Reply with quote

Letter from Mr Charles Napier:
Quote:
With regard to General Sir Charles James Napier, perhaps I can lay a myth to rest. When Charles James was serving in India as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, he had to fight a war in the Province of Scinde (or Sind as it is sometimes spelt). It has been reported that when he was successful and had captured the Province, he sent a telegram to the War Office in London that said "PECCAVI" which is the Latin for "I have sinned". A very erudite pun! Oh that it were true. In fact there was no such telegram. No trace of the telegram has ever been found in the records of the War Office. As far as can be determined, the story first appeared in the humourous London magazine "Punch" and seems to have been perpetuated.

http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/NAPIER/2000-11/0975453048
and lots of other places if you google Napier peccavi myth.

 
Flash
38616.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:49 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Dr Ismail has made reference to Sir Charles Napier's legendary but apocryphal one-word message, "Peccavi" which he has supposed to have sent after the battle of Miani on Feb 17, 1843.

It seems this account has been accepted as an established historical fact, with different versions floating around. The most popular version is that Sir Charles Napier sent a one-word telegram to London, saying "peccavi". Dr Ismail has introduced us to yet another version.

The fact is that this never happened. Sir Charles Napier never sent any message to anyone in any form. Punch, a satirical magazine from London, published a cartoon, showing Sir Charles Napier riding stride the carnage of the battlefield of Miani, with "peccavi" coming out of his mouth, alluding to his personal greed and disapproval of the war at home.

This was a pun. However, it has metamorphozed into a legend and the myth has been perpetuated by dinner table conversations. For the record's sake, India did not have telegraph lines until 1870s.

http://www.dawn.com/2004/01/02/letted.htm#4

Is the myth sufficiently well known to make a question, do we think?

 
Jenny
38621.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:12 pm Reply with quote

The version I read had him making it as a comment to his brother rather than sending it as a telegram, but as myths go I think it is a well-known one.

 
Celebaelin
38624.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:30 pm Reply with quote

I think its very well known now ironically. Probably because of the Trafalgar Square fourth plinth debate.

Quote:
On his return to India in 1841 he commanded the British Army against the local Amirs in Hyderabad and following their defeat Sind (now known as Pakistan) became part of British India. After Napier's death in 1853 money was raised for a bronze statue which, after some delay by the Government, was placed on the west side of Trafalgar Square in 1856.


http://www.fourthplinth.co.uk/trafalgar.htm

I've heard the "Peccavi" telegraph story quoted by Ian Hislop on HIGNFY and in print in a book edited by John Train entitled Wit: The Best Things Ever Said

Quote:
Confession

The wittiest military dispatch in history was sent in 1844 by General Sir Charles Napier after his conquest of Sind (or Sindh), capital Karachi, in present-day Pakistan. It consisted of one word from the Latin liturgy: Peccavi ("I have sinned.").*

*Although the campaign was a remarkble feat of arms (and espionage), he had indeed sinned, since as he said himself, "We have no right to sieze Sind."

 
Celebaelin
38625.  Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:12 pm Reply with quote

Wheeee! Making your own amusement by double posting in the middle of the night - you've gotta love it!

The debunking of the "Peccavi" story is rather sad really because it leaves us with the American Brigadier General Mcauliffe's rather less erudite and amusing (though still pretty funny under the circumstances) "Nuts!" from the Battle of the Bulge as the most succinct military communiqué ever sent.

Quote:
Bastogne was a strategic position which both the Germans and Americans wanted to occupy. This lead to a race between the American 101st Airborne divisions and the Germans. The Americans managed to get there first and occupy the city. The Germans were not far behind and quickly surrounded and laid siege to the city. This city was an important strategic location for the Allies because this city could be used as a base to launch a counteroffensive. On December 22 German officers under the flag of truce delivered a message from General der Panzertruppe von Luttwitz Commander of XLVII Panzerhops, demanding the surrender of Bastogne. After receiving the message Brigadier General Mcauliffe exclaimed "Aw, nuts" which was his official reply to the request for surrender. This message was delivered by Joseph Harper to the Germans. He told the Germans it meant they could all go to Hell.


http://helios.acomp.usf.edu/~dsargent/bestbulge2.htm

Quote:
H.W.O. Kinnard: Surrender

Transcript: My recollection of the German surrender ultimatum, and the "Nuts" reply by McAuliffe goes like this. On the 22nd of December, when the division was and had been totally surrounded by the Germans, the intelligence officer and I decided that we had to take this to General McAuliffe. We first took it to the chief of staff, and the three of us, and Colonel Harper then went in, woke up General McAuliffe who was taking a bit of a nap, and told him that we had a surrender ultimatum. And that Tony McAuliffe had first thought that the Germans were trying to surrender to us. But, we told him no, not so. That they want us to surrender to them, and they go on to say all the bad things that they're going to do if we don't do this. And he said, Tony McAuliffe then said, "I surrender, ah nuts!" And then he sort of pondered about whether he should answer or should it be in writing, and so forth. And everybody agreed that there should be a written answer. And Tony McAuliffe then said, "Well, I don't know what to tell them." And I spoke up and said, "Well, what you first said would be hard to beat." And Tony said, "What do you mean?" And I said, "You said nuts!" And all of us in the room sort of thought that was a good answer. So Tony sat down and wrote out with a pencil, "To the German Commander, Nuts! A.C. McAuliffe, Commanding." Had his secretary type it out. Gave the message to Colonel Harper, who took it back to his headquarters and gave it to the German Armistice party. The Germans were allowed to take off their blindfold and read the message, and they were puzzled by it. And they were trying to translate nuts. And they said, "Nuets, Nuets, Nuts... Vas Is Das?" They didn't get it at all. And Colonel Harper said, "If you don't understand it, it means go to hell!"


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/bulge/sfeature/sf_footage_04.html

The Germans never did take Bastogne, but the Americans took heavy casualties in holding the position. The Germans were expelled from Bastogne by the 29th of December and the Battle of the Bulge was officially over by the 28th of January.

 
JumpingJack
38639.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:07 am Reply with quote

I researched the 'Peccavi" myth some years ago (and in fact corresponded with young Hislop about it).

Haven't got the details to hand but it was indeed a schoolgirl writing to Punch who suggested 'wouldn't it have been great if...' Napier had sent such a telegram...

 
96aelw
38651.  Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:54 am Reply with quote

I seem to remember hearing something about a similar telegram along the lines of "iam fortunam habeo" (I have Lucknow), but that must be even less true.

 

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