Monday, September 16, 2019


Accusatives of Exclamation

Dear Mike,

Terence's 'hancin vitam! hoscin mores! hanc dementiam!' is a useful addition to the arsenal, but I suspect that curmudgeons might be loath to part with the spleen-venting interjection 'o' before their accusatives of exclamation. If they tire of hackneyed "o tempora! o mores!", they can always try out:
O miseras mentes! o pectora caeca! Lucretius On the Nature of Things 2.14

O curas hominum! o quantum est in rebus inane! Persius Satires 1.1

O rem totam odiosam! Cicero Letters to Atticus 6.4.1

O fallacem hominum spem fragilemque fortunam et inanes nostras contentiones! Cicero On the Orator 3.2.7
But then it must be back to Terence's The Brothers (302-304) for the final howl from the bunker:
Tot res repente circumvallant se unde emergi non potest:
Vis, egestas, iniustitia, solitudo, infamia.
Hocine saeclum! O scelera, o genera sacrilega, o hominem inpium!
Best wishes,
Eric [Thomson]

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