describere

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Pactianam coniurationem paucis describere instituo, nam id in primis memorabile facinus tempestate mea accidit parumque abfuit quin Florentinam omnem rem publicam penitus everteret.
Videns igitur Titum et Domicianum post patris Vespasiani Exequias hostile cupiditate imperii decertantes, quoniam Titus Domicianum expellere et patri flagitabat succedere, [Statius] Polinicis et Ethioclis discordiam et contentionem describere decrevit, quatenus inspectis casibus qu dictis fratribus propter bellum contigerant, titum et Domicianum a contentione simili removeret.
Quare accelerationes in d et p permanent in eadem ratione, et etiamnum generabunt velocitates descendentium in eadem ratione, effici-entque ut gravia pergant describere spatia dS & pn in eadem ratione.
Et tune incepit dictae Mariae describere passiones, ac si ipsam vidisset pluries in angustia tormentorum: quam tamen nunquam viderat, nee de ipsa quidquam audierat ab aliquo mortali, ut creditur.
nuptiarum apparatum, nuptae desponsationem, conviviorum et ludorum exhibitionem, veluti singulos est actum dies brevi et carptim describere decrevi .
66) When using describere to relate how the minutes of the Catilinarian trial were copied and made public, Cicero again mentioned scribes: `sed statim describi ab omnibus librariis, dividi passim et pervulgari atque edi populo Romano imperavi' (Sull.
The close connection between describere and librarii is brought out particularly well when a distinction is drawn between the functions of scribes and authors, as in a letter to Atticus where Cicero used scribere to denote what he himself was doing, describere what the copyists had done: `quin etiam feci, quod profecto ante me nemo, ut ipse me per litteras consolarer.
But in certain passages where it is clear that describere denotes the copying of a lengthy text, we find that its subject is not a scribe, but an upper-class Roman.
For if it is absurd to think that a Cornelius Nepos or an Atticus would copy a long text (and describere denotes a long text) in their own hands, it is equally absurd to think that Cicero, or Cornelius Balbus or Caerellia would have done so.
Cicero must have been using describere with a causative sense conveying the meaning `cause to be copied'.
Because the connection between copying (describere) and copyist (librarii) was so close and regular in ancient Rome, and since, at least among the wealthy, a copyist would have been a slave, an upper-class Roman would quite naturally have used the causative sense of describere in the passive, just as he might use the passive form of delere or inaedificare with a causative meaning when writing of the destruction of an enemy city or the demolition of a building.
Tripliciter ergo describere oportet in anima sua unumquemque divinarum intellegentiam litterarum: id est, ut simpliciores quique aedificentur ab ipso, ut ita dixerim, corpore scripturarum (sic enim appellamus communem istum et historialem intellectum); si qui vero aliquantum iam proficere coeperunt et possunt amplius aliquid intueri, ab ipsa scripturae anima aedificentur; qui vero perfecti sunt hi tales ab ipsa >spiritali lege<, quae >umbram habet futurorum honorum<, tamquam ab spiritu aedificentur.