By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB
Q: Ave, Cæsar. Gratulor tibi in his victoriis! Placetne tibi dictator Romæ esse?
(Congratulations on your victories! How are you enjoying life as dictator?)
A: Ita. Profiteor mihi valde placere, quia nunc satis temporis scribendi mihi est de gestis meis. Verum tamen, brevi me ad prœlia rediturum esse spero. Operibus meis de Gallico et Civili Bello scriptis, revertam ad milites meos et multas victorias, ad gloriam Romæ, in manibus habebo. Omnes sciunt me eruditum esse, sed etiam miles et vir expertus sum. Naturam enim et iter facere diligo. Dulce et decorum est barbaros excolere! Omnibus ducibus Romanis imperium pandere nostrum decet. Utinam omnes gentes aliquando Latine loquantur! Mox pulcherrima voce Latina etiam omnes in orbe terrarum utentur.
(Well. I must admit that I love this new life since I now have time to write about my experiences. Still, I can hardly wait to get back on the battlefield! As soon as I’m done writing my accounts of the Gallic and Civil Wars, I hope to get back into action and embark on new campaigns! I’m well known as a scholar, but I’m also a soldier and a man of action. I love the outdoors, traveling, and conquering new territories for the glory of Rome. Civilizing barbarians is a noble duty, and the burden of every Roman general is to spread our culture, especially our language. Latin is a beautiful language, and I believe it is destined to be the most important language in the world. Soon every man and woman will speak it!)
Q: Sic…dicam…de bellis, quis inimicus tuus terribilissimus fuit?
(Well…moving on. Speaking of battles, who was your most fearsome adversary?)
A: Inter barbaros, fortissimi erant Belgæ. Audire potes descriptionem illorum in libro meo quem proxima æstate edidam. Omnia de prœlio Alesiæ dicam meo in libro. Dux gallicus Vercingetorix, vir validus fuit, sed agmina illius semper conturbata fuerunt. Nunc ille coniectus in vincula est, sed adhuc nescio fatum illius.
(The Belgians were by far my greatest opponents. In fact, you can read a description of those fierce warriors in my book coming out this summer. I hope the Gallic War will be a hit in Rome and throughout the world. You’ll find out about the battle of Alesia and how I defeated Vercingetorix. The Gaulish chieftain was a brave commander, but his inability to organize his army gave us a great advantage. He’s imprisoned now, but I still haven’t decided what his final fate will be.)
Q: Intelligo, Cæsar. In diebus venturis audivimus de tribu gallica quam plus virium quam videtur natura humana ferre habet et nunquam victa a Roma fuit. Asterigemne bellatorem scis?
(Indeed, Cæsar. We people of the future have heard of a certain tribe of fearsome Gauls with superhuman strength whom you weren’t ever able to defeat. Are you familiar with
the warrior Asterix?)
A: Verum? Nunquam famam illam audivi. Tibi dico, carissime amice, omnes viri qui hoc dicant mendaces sunt, et conceptiones illæ falsæ a theoricis conspiratoriis et scriptoribus nuntii diurni inventæ sunt. Mihi placet libertas dicendi palam, sed calumnias sic propagare nefastum est. Ergo, si illos capiam, magnam lectionem illis docebo!
(Really? I’ve never heard that rumor, my dear friend, but I assure you it’s nonsense, clearly fake news invented by conspiracy theorists and dishonest journalists. I’m usually in favor of freedom of speech, but spreading slander like that is simply disgusting! If I get my hands on those scoundrels, they will definitely get what they deserve!)
Q: Quid facturus es? Dicunt te iturum ad ægyptum. Verum est?
(What are your plans for the future? Some people are saying you might go back to Egypt for a while. Is this true?)
A: Nunc de illo cogito. Omnia de illa exotica terra legi et mox barbaros illic excolere volo.
(I’m certainly considering the possibility. I’ve read everything the Greeks have written about this exotic land and I’m looking forward to civilizing the barbarians there.)
Q: De vita privata quaerere possum? Fama est te divortium facturum esse, et te Cleopatram nunc amare…
(I hope you don’t mind talking about your personal life. It’s just that there have been rumors of your intention to divorce Calpurnia, and that you also may be in love with Cleopatra…)
A: Alterae nugae maledicentium! Cleopatra casta amica mea est, et valde Calpurniam, uxorem meam, amo et semper amabo. Cleopatra, etsi habet consilia similia mihi, etsi culturam et ingenium eæ admiror, est sola bona amica. Nunquam intellexi quare homines mendacia talia inveniunt. Spero in tempore tuo homines nunquam mentiri de hominibus famosis.
(More of the same nonsense! My relationship with Cleopatra is purely professional! Calpurnia is my beloved wife and always will be. As for Cleopatra, while we share the same ambitions and I do admire her intellect and wit, we are just good friends. I’ve never understood why people make up such baseless allegations. I sincerely hope that by your time people will have abandoned this terrible habit of bad-mouthing celebrities.)
Q: Ut valet salus tua? Aliqui timent te non tam validum quam antea esse.
(How’s your health these days? Some have expressed concern that you may not be as fit as you once were.)
A: Notum sit a toto populo epilepsiam meam domitam esse. Etiam medicum græcum habeo, verum discipulum Hippocratis, doctissimum in materiis medicis. Optima enim Græcæ medicinæ scientia est in orbe terrarum. Vita mea servata sacrificiis gallorum Apolloni est, et gratias maximas deis inmortalibus quod meam salutem renovaverunt.
(I want to reassure the people of Rome that my epilepsy is under control. I’ve even hired a Greek doctor, a disciple of Hippocrates and master in the art of healing the sick. Greek medicine is by far the most advanced and scientific in the world. The sacrifice of roosters to Apollo has been particularly helpful, and I’m grateful to the gods for my renewed health.)
Q: Habesne nuntium gentibus futuris?
(Do you have any message or bit of wisdom you’d like me to pass along to the people of the future?)
A: Dic illis nomen meum futurum esse inmortale ex operibus meis, quos certe habebitis et diligetis in vestro tempore quoque. Duobus milibus annorum post meum funus credo nomen et gesta mea commemoratum iri in æternum. Nomen Cæsaris immortale, et Roma imperatrix mundi!
(Tell them that there is more than enough to immortalize my name in my books, which I’m sure will still be widely available and respected even in your day. Two thousand years after I go to Hades I’m certain people will remember me and my many achievements. Cæsar’s name will be immortal and Rome will remain the mistress of the world!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
André Bastos Gurgel, OAB (Order of Attorneys of Brazil), Academic Advisor for the Carmenta Online Latin School, is a life-long student of both modern and ancient languages. Mr. Gurgel is fluent in English, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Latin (the last of which he learned with Carmenta) and has a working knowledge of Danish, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit. Mr. Gurgel is currently studying Old English through Carmenta as well.
Click here to read Mr. Gurgel’s full profile.