Notes to Livy, Ab Urbe Condita 1.11

novissimus, -a, -um (superlative of novus)
most recent, latest, last in a series.
Sabini, -orum m. pl.
Sabines (an ancient people living to the north-east of Rome); ab Sabinis is ablative of source after ortum.
orior, oriri, ortus/a sum
arise, spring up, be born. Supply est with ortum.
multo, adverb
by much, by far.
maximus, -a, um (superlative of magnus)
greatest, biggest, largest; modifies bellum.
cupiditas, -tatis f.
desire, ambition, greed.
ago, agere, egi, actum
do, act, conduct, carry out, accomplish
ostendo, -ere, ostendi, ostentum
reveal, disclose; show, display.
infero, inferre, intuli, illatum
bring forward, advance
consilium, -i n.
strategem; purpose; plan.
addo, -ere, addidi, additum
add, bring to, put to. Supply est with additus.
dolus, -i m.
deceit, guile, trick, subterfuge.
Spurius Tarpeius, the Roman commander (perhaps mythical) of the Capitoline fortress under Romulus, and the father of Tarpeia. Mons Tarpeius was the old name of the Capitoline Hill. The Tarpeian Rock was a cliff on the Capitoline from which murderers and traitors were thrown to their death. The cliff received its name from Tarpeia, to mark the place of Tarpeia's treachery; Dionysius of Halicarnassus (7.35.4; 8.78.5) locates it on the south-east corner of the Capitoline summit. Ogilvie argues rather that mons Tarpeius is Etruscan in origin and connects it with Tarquinius.
praesum, praeesse, praefui (+ dative)
be in charge (of), be in control (of), be in command (of).
arx, arcis f.
citadel, summit. Livy uses arx here for the entire Capitoline Hill.
virgo, -inis f.
virgin, maiden. In Varro (de Lingua Latina 5.41) and Propertius (Elegiae 4.4), Tarpeia is a Vestal virgin. The Vestals had to tend the sacred flame in the hearth of the Temple of Vesta in the Roman Forum. The six Vestal virgins were selected from patrician families. Chosen between the ages of six and ten, they were obligated to serve for thirty years, but usually continued their service for the rest of their lives. They were housed at public expense in the Atrium Vestae, given privileges, and were under the authority of the pontifex maximus (here Augustus), who oversaw their punishment for violations of chastity.
aurum, -i n.
gold. Propertius's poem (Elegiae 4.4) preserves an alternate reason for Tarpeia's betrayal of her country: infatuation with the Sabine leader.
corrumpo, -ere, corrupi, corruptum
bribe, seduce; note that Tarpeia does not initiate the betrayal.
Titus Tatius, the Sabine king, led the attack on Rome to avenge the abduction of the Sabine women. He bribed Tarpeia with gold to admit his troops into the Capitol. Once the Sabine women engineered a reconciliation of their two families, the Romans and Sabines formed one community under the joint command of Titus Tatius and Romulus. Tatius later was assassinated while attending an annual sacrifice at Lavinium; some sources hint that Romulus was responsible.
accipio, -ere, accepi, acceptum
receive, accept, take; accipiat is present subjunctive in a purpose clause introduced by ut.
forte, adverb
by chance, as it happened
ea = Tarpeia, the subject of ierat.
sacrum, -i n.
sacred rite, sacrifice, religious observance. Livy's reference to sacris and the use of the term virginem suggests that Tarpeia was a Vestal virgin, since a daily task of Vestals was to draw water for ritual purposes from the spring of the Camenae, near the porta Capena. Tarpeia's betrayal of her country becomes a betrayal of the gods as well.
moenia, -um n. pl.
defenses, walls; stronghold
petitum: a supine in the accusative after a verb of motion (ierat) to express purpose; aquam is direct object of petitum.
eo, ire, ii (ivi), itum
go, advance, proceed
obruo, obruere, obrui, obrutum
overwhelm, cover over, bury; by placing the two perfect passive participles together (accepti obrutam) Livy unites subject and object with action and immediate punishment.
arma, -orum, n. pl.
weapons; the generic reference is to their shields (see below).
neco (1)
kill, murder; necavere = necaverunt, a syncopated form of the perfect tense; the subject is contained in the participle accepti.
seu (= sive) … seu (=sive): correlatives
whether. . .or
vis, vis f.
power, force, strength, violence, assault
potius, adverb
rather, more
videretur = imperfect subjunctive in a purpose clause introduced by ut; the passive of video here means seem.
prodo, prodere, prodidi, proditum
bring forth, produce, provide, make known; prodendi is the gerundive agreeing with exempli; prodendi exempli are governed by causa. Note how Livy prefers unbalanced parallel clauses: the subjunctive after ut and the genitive of the gerundive after causa both express purpose.
quid = aliquid (the indefinite pronoun anything) after si, nisi, num, ne; ne introduces a purpose clause followed by the subjunctive esset.
fidus, -a, -um
safe, faithful, reliable, sure
proditor, -oris m.
traitor. In this version Tarpeia is killed by the Sabines to set an example for traitors; she is guilty of betraying her family, the gods, and her country. R. Brown argues that Livy blames Tatius as well, for his attack involves subterfuge (dolus) and seduction (auro corrumpit).
fabula, -ae f.
story, common talk. Ogilvie notes that Livy uses fabula to mean “a story to which he attaches little belief.” Although Livy reports the variant “tale,” he gives primacy to his first account which provides an excellent mali/malae exemplum.
quod, conjunction
because, inasmuch as.
volgo = vulgo, adverb
commonly; publicly; usually; everywhere.
armilla, -ae f.
bracelet (worn by men or women). Livy describes these Sabine bracelets as gold and of great weight. Some scholars argue that Livy conflated the story of the siege of the Roman citadel by the Sabines with the story of the sack of Rome by the Gauls in 390 BCE, since genuine 4th-3rd century BCE huge, heavy Gaulish armlets, torques and shields have been found (the bracelets are gold, with hemispherical bumps along the outer surface). Later, the Romans treasured armillae as items of great value; Livy records that they were given to the Roman soldiers as decorations for service after the defeat of Aquilonia and Cominium (459 BCE).
pondus, -eris n.
weight; mass.
brachium, -i n.
arm, forearm.
laevus, -a, -um
left; stupid; ill-omened.
gemmatus, -a, -um
set with jewels; bejewelled.
species, -ei f.
beauty, splendor; specie agrees with magna and is ablative of quality or description.
anulus, -i m.
habuerint = perfect subjunctive in a causal clause introduced by quod. Livy uses the subjunctive to state an alleged cause, i.e. reported not by himself but by someone else. The subjunctive suggests Livy's skepticism.
pango, pangere, pepigi, pactum
bargain for; pepigisse is perfect infinitive in indirect statement; its subject is eam (= Tarpeia).
quod = relative pronoun, accusative, singular neuter. It is the direct object of haberent, imperfect subjunctive in a subordinate clause within the indirect statement.
sinister, -tra, -trum
left; perverse; unfavorable
eo, adverb
for that reason, therefore.
scutum, -i n.
shield; scuta is the subject of congesta.
illi: Tarpeia; dative of disadvantage.
congero, congerere, congessi, congestum
heap upon, shower; congesta [esse]: perfect passive infinitive in indirect statement. Livy offers us a word painting: scuta ... congesta encircle and envelop Tarpeia (illi) and her expectations (pro aureis donis).
qui: introduces a relative clause of characteristic followed by the subjunctive (dicant). Livy provides yet another variant in which Tarpeia is not a traitress but a heroine. The historian L. Calpurnius Piso credits this patriotic explanation for Tarpeia's actions in light of the survival of a public libation ceremony at the supposed tomb of Tarpeia.
eam = Tarpeia, subject of the perfect infinitive petisse in indirect statement after dicant.
pactum, -i n.
agreement, contract, bargain.
trado, tradere, tradidi, traditum
hand over, surrender, deliver; tradendi is the gerund, genitive singular.
quod: relative pronoun, nominative singular neuter. It is the subject of esset, imperfect subjunctive in a subordinate clause within the indirect statement.
derecto, adverb
immediately, directly.
petisse = petivisse, a syncopated form of the perfect tense; arma is the direct object.
fraus, fraudis f.
deceit, fraud, guile; ablative of manner.
visam = Tarpeia; perfect passive participle (truly the passive of see and not seem) followed by agere (+ fraude), a complementary infinitive.
perimo, perimere, peremi, peremptum
destroy, kill; peremptam [esse]: perfect passive infinitive in indirect statement with ipsam as the subject.
merces, -edis f.
pay, reward; ablative of means.