Nihil mea sententia
vitae miserius inveniri potest quam eorum qui servitutem serviunt.
A chicken in the pot of every farmer and the Gallic rooster dies." The sententia
goes awry: the Gallic rooster dies and the anthropomorphized revolution suffers a stroke; concrete entities such as fat peasants and boilers are mixed with idealistic notions such as "revolution" and "Gallic rooster." As a consequence, the figurative terms are literalized, and returned, however awkwardly, to a certain materiality, just as the literal terms, as emblems of a political ideal, acquire a certain awkwardly figurative spirituality.
In the Sententia
libri Ethicorum, this condition of friendship between polities is termed "concord," but it does not yet receive the designation "peace." This could only be expected as Aristotle does not employ the Greek term for peace, [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], in this specific context.
The primacy of Cicero's sententia
has previous y been acknowledged.
Sententialiter has a specific technical meaning in the context of mnemonics, one that links the mnemonic value of the colon divisions marked off in a written text with the advice to remember `by the sententiae.' A sententia
was not merely an impressionistic content division, but, according to a well-known definition of Isidore of Seville, it coincides with a colon; it is a coherent though not a complete semantic unit, and a number of such cola/sententiae make up the completed thought that is a periodus.
The earlier part of the volume gives a brief outline of the development of early monasticism, and of monastic rules in the Latin West to the beginning of the sixth century; a discussion of the only manuscript of the Rule, Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale 12,634 (a fuller codicological description would have been welcome); of the career of Eugippius himself; and of the various sources from which he compiled his work: Augustine of Hippo; the Sententia
of Novatus; the Regula Magistri; Rufinus' translation of the Rules of Basil of Caesarea; Cassian's Institutes and Conferences; the Regula IV Patrum; the Rule of Pachomius; and Jerome's Letter 125 (pp.3-42).
The customary procedure was for the presiding magistrate to bring (referre) an open question (res integra) before the Senate (relatio), call upon the senators in descending order of rank (in loco suo), beginning with the consuls-elect and then the consulars, then praetors-elect and past praetors in descending order of dignitas and auctoritas.(26) Each senator was asked to express his opinion (sententia
), and the magistrate in charge decided when to put the question to a vote and what question to put.
Having examined (in a separate study) some thirty-one proverbial or sentential passages of Beowulf, (12) I have found that nowhere do they contradict each other or any other preserved Old English sententia
. The same lack of contradiction may obtain for the entire corpus of Old English gnomes.
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