Gai Sollii Apollinaris Sidonii Epistvlarvm
1. Diu praecipis, domine maior, summa suadendi auctoritate, sicuti es in his quae deliberabuntur consiliosissimus, ut, si quae mihi1 litterae paulo politiores varia occasione fluxerint, prout eas causa persona tempus elicuit, omnes retractatis exemplaribus enucleatisque uno volumine includam, Quinti Symmachi rotunditatem, Gai Plinii disciplinam maturitatemque vestigiis praesumptuosis insecuturus.
Letters of Gaius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius
1. My honoured Lord,1 you have this long while been pressing me (and you have every claim on my attention, for you are a most competent adviser on the matters about to be discussed) to collect all the letters making any little claim to taste that have flowed from my pen on different occasions as this or that affair, person, or situation called them forth, and to revise and correct the originals and combine all in a single book.2 In so doing, I should be following, though with presumptuous steps, the path traced by Quintus Symmachus with his rounded style and by Gaius Plinius with his highly-developed
- 1The respectful address domine maior seems to occur only in Sidonius (cf. I. 11. 17, II. 3. 1, III. 6. 3, IV. 3. 1, IV. 17. 1, VIII. 4. 1). M. B. O’Brien (Titles of address in Christian Latin epistolography, Washington, D.C., 1930) wrongly attributes the use also to Claudianus Mamertus, misled by the fact that Sidonius Epist. IV. 3 is reproduced in editions of Claudianus, to whom the letter was addressed. The use of comparative adjectives (especially maior, prior, senior) in titles is derived from the use of the comparative for the superlative, which arose early in colloquial Latin and ultimately became fairly common in the literature. For the use of dominus as an honorary title in letters see the article in Thesaurus linguae Latinae, especially 1925 f., 1929. 30-1930. 66; also O’Brien, op. cit., p. 83.