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Caesar, Sibilant

More Latin. During the day it’s Caesar’s Gallic War, when I go to bed it’s at least one page of Pliny. Right now, the Belgae are besieging Bibrax, and one of the things I like about reading aloud from a Loeb Classical edition is sometimes I hear a fellow writer using words for effect. Case in point:

Cum finem oppugnandi nox fecisset, Iccius Remus, summa nobilitate et gratia inter suos, qui tum oppido praefuerat, unus ex eis qui legati de pace ad Caesarem venerant, nuntium ad eum mittit, nisi subsidium sibi submittatur, sese diutius sustinere non posse. The Gallic War, Loeb Classical, p.98

By the time we get to “subsidium” Caesar’s having a bit of fun, and throws the alliterative sibilants down with what I imagine is a languorous dinner-party wave of one manicured (but manly!) hand. The entire page is really a joy, especially once one catches the rhythm. Sentence by sentence, one gets a sense of a man who liked writing almost as much as he liked winning battles.