Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Cicero, Pro Murena
25 (tr. C. MacDonald):
Firstly, no prestige can be gained from a knowledge of such trivialities. The subject matter is insignificant, almost entirely composed of questions of a single letter or a division between words.
primum dignitas in tam tenui scientia non potest esse; res enim sunt parvae, prope in singulis litteris atque interpunctionibus verborum occupatae.
You cannot be an expert on a subject which everyone knows and about which, therefore, there can be no disagreement. You cannot say that the subject is difficult because it is contained in a very few extremely simple documents. If you provoke me, desperately busy as I am, I shall set myself up as a qualified lawyer within three days.
peritus ideo haberi nemo potest quod in eo quod sciunt omnes nullo modo possunt inter se discrepare. difficilis autem res ideo non putatur quod et perpaucis et minime obscuris litteris continetur. itaque si mihi, homini vehementer occupato, stomachum moveritis, triduo me iuris consultum esse profitebor.