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Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

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Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:49 am

A bad peace is even worse than war.

It is said that this quote was from Tacitus. But when I tried to find its Latin version, I could not get any indications of its origin. I searched the fulltexts of Tacitus' English translation version books but still nothing matched. I now doubt it is not the same form of Tacitus' Latin sentence but some sort of "retell".

Is there any one pleased to help finding its origin?
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:46 pm

Lord_WayneY wrote:
A bad peace is even worse than war.

It is said that this quote was from Tacitus. But when I tried to find its Latin version, I could not get any indications of its origin. I searched the fulltexts of Tacitus' English translation version books but still nothing matched. I now doubt it is not the same form of Tacitus' Latin sentence but some sort of "retell".

Is there any one pleased to help finding its origin?


I'm wondering if it's a paraphrase of this?

plus tamen ferociae Britanni praeferunt, ut quos nondum longa pax emollierit. nam Gallos quoque in bellis floruisse accepimus; mox segnitia cum otio intravit, amissa virtute pariter ac libertate... (Agricolae 11.5).

There is a similar thought in Caesar's De Bello Gallico:

Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important... (1.3).

Still, it's not exactly the same thing, is it? I searched all the extant works of Tacitus under pax and found nothing (except the above), and will also look under pacem (you never know when indirect statement will rear its lovely head). I'll report back if I find anything else.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:00 pm

Okay, I also found:

quod ipsorum in manu sit, integrum adversum Romanos bellum an pacem incruentam malint... (Ann. 2:46), but if your quotation is a paraphrase, it's badly taken out of context. More than once I've seen quotations attributed to a classical author that either don't exist (it turns out to be a quotation from an English source), or are pretty badly mangled... :shock:
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Shenoute » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:32 pm

Maybe
Annales 15,25 wrote:(...) consuluit inter primores ciuitatis Nero, bellum anceps an pax inhonesta placeret. nec dubitatum de bello. (...)
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Okay, I also found:

quod ipsorum in manu sit, integrum adversum Romanos bellum an pacem incruentam malint... (Ann. 2:46), but if your quotation is a paraphrase, it's badly taken out of context. More than once I've seen quotations attributed to a classical author that either don't exist (it turns out to be a quotation from an English source), or are pretty badly mangled... :shock:

I also find this, and this is why I doubt it is some sort of "retell". Now I am working on trying to find its English origin, and wishing that would help to figure out the process of translation…… To be honestly, I am very surprised that such a widely used quotation is so hard to find its source……
Civis Sinensis.
I am here not only to learn Latin, but also English.
Lord_WayneY
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Shenoute wrote:Maybe
Annales 15,25 wrote:(...) consuluit inter primores ciuitatis Nero, bellum anceps an pax inhonesta placeret. nec dubitatum de bello. (...)


This is also what I found before…… But it is not the same form as the English quotation, and then I had my doubtation above……
Civis Sinensis.
I am here not only to learn Latin, but also English.
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Lord_WayneY » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:21 pm

Hi all,
Thank you for your effort. I think I find it! In Annales, III, 44,
miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari
Civis Sinensis.
I am here not only to learn Latin, but also English.
Lord_WayneY
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:22 pm

Lord_WayneY wrote:
Barry Hofstetter wrote:Okay, I also found:

quod ipsorum in manu sit, integrum adversum Romanos bellum an pacem incruentam malint... (Ann. 2:46), but if your quotation is a paraphrase, it's badly taken out of context. More than once I've seen quotations attributed to a classical author that either don't exist (it turns out to be a quotation from an English source), or are pretty badly mangled... :shock:

I also find this, and this is why I doubt it is some sort of "retell". Now I am working on trying to find its English origin, and wishing that would help to figure out the process of translation…… To be honestly, I am very surprised that such a widely used quotation is so hard to find its source……


Some time ago on the Classics list people were trying to track down a quotation attributed to Cicero. Turned out it wasn't from anything Cicero wrote, but from Taylor Caldwell's fictional historical novel about Cicero, A Pillar of Iron. Somebody originally cited it trusting it as something Cicero actually wrote, and then somebody cited that somebody... That's why we always tell students writing research papers never to quote a primary source through a secondary source, but always find the original if at all possible.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
Semper melius Latine sonat...
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Re: Where is this Tacitus' quote from?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:32 pm

Lord_WayneY wrote:Hi all,
Thank you for your effort. I think I find it! In Annales, III, 44,
miseram pacem vel bello bene mutari


Somehow I missed that when I was going through my search results. In context it doesn't have quite the proverbial ring of the English you cited, but I think this is obviously it.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Semper melius Latine sonat...
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