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Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:06 am

L. Livius v. c. et mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Dum taciturnitati senatoriae praesum, possum nihilominus aliud verbum considerare.

grandĭlŏquus, i, m. [grandis-loquor], speaking grandly or loftily: et grandiloqui, ut ita dicam, fuerunt cum ampla et sententiarum gravitate et maiestate verborum, Cic. Or. 5, 20; cf. Quint. 10, 1, 66: stilus, Serv. Verg. Vit.—In a bad sense, grandiloquent: isti grandiloqui (i.e. Stoici), boasters, Cic. Tusc. 5, 31, 89.

Here we have a rather uncommon Ciceronian adjective for someone who speaks (loquor) grandly (grandis), be that in a positive sense (a brilliant orator) or a negative one (a pompous bore). Lewis & Short provides us with four citations, two from M. Tullius Cicero, one from M. Fabius Quintilian, and one from the much later Maurus Servius Honoratus. We'll examine the first, from Cicero's treatise on rhetoric entitled Orator:

Orator, 5.20 wrote:Grandiloqui, ut ita dicam, fuerunt cum ampla et sententiarum gravitate et maiestate verborum, vehementes varii, copiosi graves, ad permovendos et convertendos animos instructi et parati—quod ipsum alii aspera tristi horrida oratione neque perfecta atque conclusa consequebantur, alii levi et structa et terminata.

"Grandiose speakers" (as I call them), with great dignity to their sentences and majesty in their words, are
versatile in their forcefulness, abounding in seriousness, trained and ready to persuade and convince the mind, which some accomplish through harsh, gloomy, rough speech without elegance or harmony, and others lightly with structure and proportion.

Notice how Cicero makes note of the novelty of the word grandiloqui by adding the parenthetic clause "ut ita dicam" ("as I call them"). This is not surprising given the relative obscurity of this word and its apparent origins in the pen of M. Tullius himself.

Lucius Livius Seneca


Postby Lucius Livius Seneca » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:15 am

L. Livius v. c. et mag. omnibus sociis sal.

Sicut a manibus deorum ipsorum verbum hodiernum nobis datum est!

perfuctōrĭus, a, um, adj. [perfunctus; despatched, i.e.], done in a careless or superficial manner, slight, careless, negligent, perfunctory (jurid. Lat.): examinatio, Nov. Val. 3, Postul. 2, 11, c. § 1: genitus, Ambros. in Psa. 37, § 37.—Adv.: perfunctōrĭē, slightly, carelessly, negligently, perfunctorily (late Lat.): me coepit non perfunctorie verberare, Petr. 11: facere aliquid, Cod. Th. 12, 3, 2; cf. ib. 14, 9 ,1.

This adjective is quite late and not at all part of the Classical vocabulary. It is, however, derived from the Classical verb perfungor, which means "to fulfill" or "accomplish" something. Its pejorative meaning comes from the sense of "just getting it done," and lives on in the English language via the inkhorn term "perfunctory."

The earliest citation provided by Lewis & Short is from Petronius, an imperial courtier from the time of Nero. The Satyricon, the earliest example of what we would consider a novel, was attributed to him but has survived only in fragments. The passage cited in the dictionary entry has the protagonist, Encolpius, comforting his slave Gito who has recently been raped by Encolpius' lover Ascyltos. In the midst of their embrace, Ascyltos stumbles upon them both and berates them:

Postquam lustravi oculis totam urbem, in cellulam redii, osculisque tandem bona fide exactis alligo artissimis complexibus puerum, fruorque votis usque ad invidiam felicibus. Nec adhuc quidem omnia erant facta, cum Ascyltos furtim se foribus admovit, discussisque fortissime claustris invenit me cum fratre ludentem. Risu itaque plausuque cellulam implevit, opertum me amiculo evolvit et: "Quid agebas, inquit, frater sanctissime? Quid? Vesticontubernium facis?" Nec se solum intra verba continuit, sed lorum de pera soluit et me coepit non perfunctorie verberare, adiectis etiam petulantibus dictis: "Sic dividere cum fratre nolito."

After I had scanned the entire city with my eyes, I returned to the room and, with some kisses finally exacted in good faith, I wrapped the boy in a tight embrace and enjoyed our happy vows to the point of envy. But all these things were scarcely done when Ascyltos stealthily approached the doors and, having violently ripped off the locks, found me dallying with my "brother." He then filled the room with laughter and applause and tore away our cloak. "What are you up to, my dear, pious, brother?" he asked. "What? Are you making friends under the sheets?" Nor did he limit himself to words alone, but drew the thong from his wallet and began to strike me with no lack of effort while spouting wanton interjections: "So! You don't want to share with your brother?!"

Lucius Livius Seneca


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