Cincinnatus | Latin texts..Cincinnatus | Litterae Latinae

One of the most famous stories from Latin literature concerns Cincinnatus’ brief dictatorship, and his absence of lust for power. Authors of the empire would often look back to him as an example of the old Roman morals before they were “corrupted”. Listen to the Latin text recorded from the text book written by Sanford and Scott.

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Cincinnatus

Dum tribuni imperium consulare legibus definire conantur, L. Quinctius Cincinnatus consul factus est. Ut magistratum inivit, reprehendit et senatum et plebem, quod eidem, tribuni etiam atque etiam creati, civitatem turbarent. Senatus igitur decrevit magistratus continuari contra rem publicam esse. 

Plebs tamen eosdem, quos antea, tribunos creaverunt. Patres quoque, ne quid cederent plebi, Lucium Quinctium consulem fecerunt. At is, “Minime mirum est,” inquit, “si nihil auctoritatis, patres conscripti, habetis apud plebem. Vos eam minuitis, qui in continuandis magistratibus plebem imitamini. Ego me contra senatus consultum consulem refici non patiar.” Alius igitur consul factus est. 

Post paucos annos Aequi exercitum Romanum munitionibus clausum obsidebant. Cum hoc Romam nuntiatum esset, L. Quinctius consensu omnium dictator dictus est. Legati a senatu missi eum invenerunt trans Tiberim agrum quattuor iugerum colentem atque in opus intentum. Rogaverunt ut togatus mandata senatus audiret. 

Quinctius admiratus iubet uxorem togam propere e tugurio proferre. Cum, absterso sudore, toga velatus processisset, dictatorem eum legati salutant atque in urbem vocant; qui terror sit in exercitu exponunt. Quinctius exercitum obsessum celeriter liberavit et hostes sub iugum misit. Triumphans urbem inivit sextoque decimo die dictaturam in sex menses acceptam deposuit.
 

– Sanford and Scott

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