Ecco la seconda puntata sui Saturnali (qui trovate la traduzione italiana). Comincia con una scenetta al tempo dell’imperatore Nerone quando il filosofo Seneca, scrivendo all’amico Lucilio, si chiede se sia meglio abbandonarsi alla frenesia generale oppure, come se nulla fosse, continuare con la solita vita composta governata dalla ragione. Enjoy.

The Notebook

Temple of Saturn in Rome. Click for attribution and to enlarge

Saturnalian Days in Nero’s Time

Rome, 62 AD, December. Emperor Nero is ruling. The philosopher Seneca is writing a letter (num 18) to his friend Lucilius:

December est mensis
(It is the month of December)
cum maxime civitas sudat.
(when the city is in great sweat and hectic.)
Ius luxuriae publice datum est;
(The right to looseness has been officially given;)
ingenti apparatu sonant omnia […]
(everything resounds with mightily preparations  […])

The festival most loved by the peoples of the empire, the Saturnalia, has officially started. Excitement is growing everywhere.

The philosopher calmly sitting in his elegant tablinum is reflecting on what he and his friend should do, whether participate or not in the joy of the banquets.

Si te hic haberetur,
(If I had you here with me)
libenter tecum conferrem […]
(I should be glad…

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