Suetonius, de Vitā Nērōnis 36
Nerō nōn oppūgnāvit minore illōs quī erant nōn familiārēs
erat , quam Nerō vīdit. Nerō putāvit stellam crinitia mortem.
erat anxius ob stellam crinitiam et vocāvit astrologum Balbillum. astrologus Balbillus respondit regēs posse avertere fāta nobillissimīs nēcātīs. atque Nērō constituit nēcāre multōs nobillēs virōs. cum Nērō invēnerat duās Pisoniana Rōmae, posterior Viniciana Beneventī. contra sē, voluit nēcāre plus hominum. prior coniuratiō erat
coniuratī, ē vinculīs, dīxērunt sē voluisse nēcāre Nērōnem prō bonō Rōmae.
Nērō expulit aliōs liberōs damnatōrum ex urbe, nēcāvit aliōs aut . Nērō constituit necāre quōsdam liberōs cum paedagogīs unō et constituit prohibere aliōs quaerere pecuniam.
nōn grassatus est minore saevitia foris et in exterōs.
stella crinita, quae putātur portendere exitium summīs potestatibus vulgō, coeperat orīrī per continuās noctēs.
anxius eā rē, ut didicit ex astrologō Balbillō regēs solere expiāre talia ostenta aliquā caede illustrī atque depellere ā sēmet in capita procerum, et destināvit exitium cuī nobilissimō; enimvero conflata atque detecta est magis multō et quasi per iustam, duābus coniurationisbus provulgatīs, quārum prior maiorque erat Pisoniana Rōmae, posterior Viniciana Beneventī.
coniuratī dīxērunt causam ē vinculīs triplicium catenārum, cum quīdam ūltrō faterentur crimen, nōnnullī etiam imputārent, tamquam aliter illī nōn possent succurrere imperatorī dedecorātō flagitiīs omnibus nisi morte.
liberī damnatōrum pulsī sunt urbe et enectī sunt venenō aut fame; constat quōsdam cum paedagogīs et capsariīs pariter necātōs esse unō prandiō, aliōs prohbitōs esse quaerere diurnum victum.
Operatives, look at the following examples:
quō tempōre mīlitēs urbem oppugnābunt ?
When will the soldiers attack the city?
tacē! Mīlites nōs audient.
Be quiet! The soldiers will hear us.
The verbs in these sentences are in a new tense, the future. The future tense in Latin denotes a simple action which takes place in the future, i.e. after the present tense. Notice however, that oppugnābunt has a different ending than audient even though they are both in the future tense. The reason is that verbs in the 1st and 2nd conjugation form their future tense in one way while verbs in the 3rd and 4th conjugation in another.
The formula for the future tense in the 1st and 2nd conjugation is as follows:
present stem + ā/ē + bō (1st person singular) / bi / bu (3rd person plural) + personal endings
Here are examples of the 1st and 2nd conjugation verbs:
|1st person||amābō||I will love||amābimus||We will love|
|2nd person||amābis||You will love||amābitis||You all will love|
|3rd person||amābit||He/She will love||amābunt||They will love|
|1st person||habēbō||I will have||habēbimus||We will have|
|2nd person||habēbis||You will have||habēbitis||You all will have|
|3rd person||habēbit||He/She will have||habēbunt||They will have|
Now let's look at how 3rd and 4th conjugation verbs are formed:
|1st person||dicam||I will say||dicēmus||We will say|
|2nd person||dicēs||You will say||dicētis||You all will say|
|3rd person||dicet||He/She will say||dicent||They will say|
|1st person||audiam||I will hear|| audiēmus
||We will hear|
|2nd person||audiēs||You will hear||audiētis||You all will hear|
|3rd person||audiet||He/She will hear||audient||They will hear|
The 3rd conjugation simply uses its present stem + the active personal endings to form its future, except in the first person singular where the stem vowel -a is used.
The 4th conjugation, likewise uses its present stem, but then adds an -e, except in the 1st person singular where an -a is added instead of -e.
For your edification, here are the future forms of sum:
|1st person||erō||I will be|| erimus
||We will be|
|2nd person||eris||You will be||eritis||You all will be|
|3rd person||erit||He/She will be||erunt||They will be|
Operatives, this is why it has been imperative that you know to which conjugation each verb belongs because at this point. It can become very easy to mix up to which tense a verb belongs because the futures of 3rd and 4th conjugation verbs look frighteningly similar to the present indicative of 2nd conjugation verbs as well as the present subjunctive of 1st conjugation verbs. It's enough to make your head spin! Let's hope that you have all mastered your verb conjugations at this point.
Operatives, it would be wise to refresh yourselves about the nature of your disguises; what would you be doing in the location in which you were discovered, why you had come there on that day, and where you were headed. We're hopeful that you will be able to fool the Salviī and Cilniī.
For the second part of this episode, our temporal measurement instruments are off the charts. Strangely enough, the man sleeping on the couch matches the size and shape of none other than Emperor Nero himself. We only hope that you aren't caught now in the middle of the Pisonian Conspiracy.
CULTURALIA Comprehension Questions
Directions: Using the CULTURALIA section of your CODEX as a guide, answer the following questions:
1. How did Nero come into power and how long did he rule for?
2. Who influenced Nero is his early reign? What was his relationship with his mother like? In what ways could have this influence Nero's behavior?
3. How did Nero establish his authority? What effects would this have on perception of his rule?
4. What types of administrative policies did Nero push? Pick two and explain how they can give us insight into Nero's character or agenda. How would they have been received by the population as a whole?
5. What were some of Nero's actions during the great fire of 64? Are these unexpected? Which group of people did Nero blame as a scapegoat for the fire?
6. What were the three major power struggles or rebellions which plagued Nero later in his reign?
7. What happens in Nero's last year of rule? How does his reign end?
dē coniūrātiōne Pīsōnis
1. When did the Pisonian Conspiracy take place? Who was involved?
2. What was their goal?
3. How was the plot almost done before it could be initiated?
4. How did Nero find out about the plot? What was his reaction?