Latinizing Mussolini’s Message: Nicola Festa’s Latin Translation of the ‘Proclamation of Empire’ (1936/7)

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Notes

  1. 1.

    B. Mussolini, ‘Ducis oratio ad populum Italicum universum’, Rassegna dei combattenti pubblicata a cura dell’Associazione Naz. Combattenti. Numero Speciale, 24 March 1936, pp. 3–5. The Italian text of Mussolini’s speech is on pp. 112–14.

  2. 2.

    B. Mussolini, La fondazione dell’impero nei discorsi del Duce alle grandi adunate del popolo italiano con una traduzione latina di Nicola Festa, Naples, 1937, p. 7: ‘Il Capo del Governo si è compiaciuto di dare la Sua ambita autorizzazione alla pubblicazione; del che il traduttore e la Casa editrice Gli rendono qui pubblicamente grazie’ (It has pleased the Head of Government to grant his desired authorization to publish [this translation]; for this [authorization], the translator and the publishing house here publicly acknowledge their gratitude).

  3. 3.

    Without the suggestions and criticisms of Bettina Reitz-Joosse (University of Groningen), this article would never have materialized in its present form. It relies on research on Fascist Latinity that Bettina and I have been conducting together since 2012. The first results of our joint explorations have been published in H. Lamers, B. Reitz-Joosse and D. Sacré, ‘Neo-Latin Literature, Italy 3: Fascism (1922–1943)’, in Brill’s Encylopaedia of the Neo-Latin World, ed. J. Bloemendal et al., Leiden, 2014, pp. 1091–6; H. Lamers and B. Reitz-Joosse, ‘Fascisme in de Taal van Augustus: De Latijnse Literatuur van het ventennio fascista’, Roma Aeterna, 1/2, 2014, pp. 63–72; and H. Lamers and B. Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria: The Latin Literature of Italian Fascism’, Classical Receptions Journal, 8/2, 2016, pp. 216–52 (first published online on 22 May 2015). Our The Codex Fori Mussolini: A Latin Text of Italian Fascism, London, 2016 is the first book-length study of a Fascist Latin text (with edition, translation and commentary). I am grateful to the participants of the conference ‘Technical Translation; Translation Technique’ (Princeton University, 2–4 December 2015), and especially to my respondent Paul M. Touyz, for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper, presented on that occasion. Many thanks also to the two anonymous readers whose comments helped me to fine-tune my argument.

  4. 4.

    M. Silk, I. Gildenhard and R. Barrow, The Classical Tradition: Art, Literature, Thought, Malden, Massachusetts, 2014, p. 182.

  5. 5.

    Ibid., pp. 173–98, with further references. To get a sense of the ways in which translation has been discussed in classical reception studies, compare the exemplary pages in Classics and the Uses of Reception, ed. C. Martindale and R. T. Thomas, Malden, Massachusetts, 2006, pp. 146–52 (Alexandra Lianeri on Homer) and pp. 157–67 (Richard F. Thomas on Horace).

  6. 6.

    See A. Blair, ‘Latin Translations from the Vernacular in Early Modern Science’, in Brill’s Encylopaedia of the Neo-Latin World, ed. J. Bloemendal et al., Leiden, 2014, pp. 1021–2; B. M. Hosington, ‘Translation and Neo-Latin’, ibid., pp. 127–39 (137–9); J. IJsewijn and D. Sacré, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies. Part II: Literary, Linguistic, Philological and Editorial Questions, 2nd rev. edn, Louvain, 1998, esp. pp. 25–6, 243–6, 488–90, 491–8, with further references. For an overview of Latin translations per area, see the individual entries in J. IJsewijn, Companion to Neo-Latin Studies. Part I: History and Diffusion of Neo-Latin Literature, 2nd rev. edn, Louvain, 1990.

  7. 7.

    On Marracci, see R. Glei, ‘Arabismus latine personatus. Die Koranübersetzung von Ludovico Marracci (1698) und die Funktion des Lateinischen’, Jahrbuch für Europäische Wissenschaftskultur, 5, 2009/2010 [2011], pp. 93–115. For Bopp’s choice for Latin, see Nalus, carmen Sanscritum e Mahabharato edidit, Latine vertit, et adnotationi illustravit Franciscus Bopp, London, 1819, p. iv.

  8. 8.

    IJsewijn and Sacré, Companion, Part II (n. 6 above), esp. p. 245 and p. 494, with references on pp. 497–8. For Latin translations of modern Dutch poetry, see also Andries Welkenhuysen: Latijn van toen tot nu. Opstellen, vertalingen en teksten, ed. W. Evenepoel et al., Louvain, 1995, pp. 381–93 and Carmina neerlandica. Nederlandse gedichten in het Latijn vert[aald] door Roger Geerts, Hasselt, 1979.

  9. 9.

    Festa’s translations have not yet been studied in any detail, but unlike most of the Latin literature of Italian Fascism, they have not gone entirely unnoticed by scholars: L. Canfora, Ideologie del classicismo, Turin, 1980, p. 103, n. 2; S. D’Elia, ‘Nicola Festa e la letteratura augustea’, in Nicola Festa. Atti del Convegno di Studi, Matera, 25-26-27 ottobre 1982, ed. A. Traglia, Venosa, 1984, pp. 111–12; F. Forlenza, Cattivi maestri, ovvero intellettuali italiani tra fascismo, comunismo, terrorismo, Milan, 1993, p. 124; M. Gigante, ‘Nicola Festa e Girolamo Vitelli’, in Nicola Festa, pp. 61–84 (62–3); Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 216–17, p. 221; Lamers, Reitz-Joosse and Sacré, ‘Italy’ (n. 3 above), p. 1092; U. Piscopo, La scuola del regime. I libri di testo nelle scuole secondarie sotto il fascismo, Naples, 2006, p. 28; C. Zaghi, L’Africa nella coscienza europea e l’imperialismo italiano, Naples, 1973, p. 480.

  10. 10.

    G. B. Pighi (transl.), ‘Beniti Mussolini de instaurando Italorum imperio oratio’, Aevum. Rassegna di scienze storiche, linguistiche e filologiche, 10/4, 1936, pp. 449–52. Bettina Reitz-Joosse and I discovered three copies of the anonymous translation in the archive of the ISR in 2013 (Rome, Archive of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Romani, ‘Discorso del Duce del 9 Maggio 1936 – XV’, uncatalogued). Unlike Festa’s text, this translation was printed on one sheet of paper and thus more or less takes the form of a pamphlet. See Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 216–17.

  11. 11.

    The Latin text of the proclamazione, printed in the Rassegna (n. 1 above) and La fondazione (n. 2 above), is identical except for three minor differences. Where the Rassegna, p. 4 has ‘scil. a. d. VII id. mai.’, La fondazione, p. 41 omits ‘scil.’; and where the Rassegna, p. 5 has ‘Regi Italorum salutationem more militari reddite’, La fondazione, p. 49 omits ‘Italorum’. Moreover, the Rassegna, p. 5 has the attribution ‘BENITUS MUSSOLINI locutus est,/Interpretatus est Nicolaus Festa’, which is absent in La fondazione.

  12. 12.

    Festa rendered Nikolai Gogol’s Taras Bulba (1932, four editions, the last one in 1971) as well as Apollon Maykov’s Sketches of Rome and The Naples Album (in one volume in 1919) and his historical drama Two Worlds (1920, reprint in 1926) into Italian. Maykov’s works in particular glorify Rome’s eternal fame. Together with Hilda Montesi (whom he later married), Festa also translated Sophocles’s Oedipus at Colonus (1917), Philoctetes (1918), Antigone (1919), The Women of Trachis (1920) and Electra (1927). His translation of Homer’s Odyssey was published between 1921 and 1928, the Iliad between 1917 and 1925. His translation of the Stoics (in two volumes) was published between 1932 and 1935. Festa also founded the series ‘Biblioteca di Classici Greci tradotti e illustrati con testo a fronte’ (Florence, 1916).

  13. 13.

    N. Festa, Saggio sull’ ‘Africa’ del Petrarca, Palermo and Rome, 1926, p. 193: ‘Bastano questi cenni per mostrare che anche l’Africa vuol essere considerata come "poema sacro, al quale ha posto mano e cielo e terra" e secondo l’intenzione dell’autore dovrebbe essere il nostro grande poema nazionale; composto in quella meravigliosa "lingua nostra", che passa per lingua morta, solo presso gl’ignoranti e fra la turba presuntuosa popolante il limbo della mezza cultura’. See also Hilda Montesi’s preface to her husband’s essay in the same volume (pp. vii–viii).

  14. 14.

    F. Giordano, Filologi e fascismo. Gli studi di letteratura latina nell’Enciclopedia Italiana, Naples, 1993, p. 198. For this distinction, see also Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, The Codex (n. 3 above), p. 10.

  15. 15.

    J. Nelis, ‘La fede di Roma nella modernità totalitaria fascista. Il mito della romanità e l’Istituto di Studi Romani tra Carlo Galassi Paluzzi e Giuseppe Bottai’, Studi Romani, 58, 2010, pp. 359–81 (375). For accounts of the history and role of the ISR, see R. Visser, ‘Istituto (Nazionale) di Studi Romani’, in Der Neue Pauly, ed. M. Landfester, Brill Online (http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_dnp_e1406850) and J. Arthurs, Excavating Modernity: The Roman Past in Fascist Italy, Ithaca, 2012, pp. 29–49.

  16. 16.

    See Gigante, ‘Nicola Festa’ (n. 9 above), p. 62: ‘per opera del Duce’.

  17. 17.

    For a more detailed account of Festa’s links with Fascism, see in particular Gigante, ‘Nicola Festa’ (n. 9 above).

  18. 18.

    P. Treves, ‘Festa, Nicola’, in Dizionario biografico degli italiani, XLVII, Rome, 1997, pp. 292–3.

  19. 19.

    The inscription for the Foro Mussolini survives in Il Foro Mussolini, Milan, 1937, pp. 104–05. For the inscriptions of the Città Universitaria, see S. Addamiano, ‘Le iscrizioni della Città Universitaria’, in Università oggi. I cinquant’anni dell’Università di Roma, 1935–1985, ed. T. De Mauro and F. Fontana, Rome, 1984, pp. 89–93. For further bibliography on Festa, see Treves, ‘Festa’ (n. 18 above) and the concise article in the Catalogus Philologorum Classicorum, ed. F. Montanari, freely consultable online (aristarchus.unige.it/cphc).

  20. 20.

    The original speeches were also included in the Opera omnia of Benito Mussolini (see Opera Omnia di Benito Mussolini. Dall’inaugurazione della provincia di Littoria alla proclamazione dell’impero (16 dicembre 1934–9 maggio 1936), ed. E. Susmel and D. Susmel, Florence, 1959, pp. 158–60, 265–6, 168–269. To the best of my current knowledge, nothing more is known about Giuseppe Rispoli than that he was a publisher in Naples in the 1930s and 1940s.

  21. 21.

    Compare the photographs with the Italian text of the speeches in Rassegna (n. 1 above), pp. 101, 111, 114. In order to evoke the presence of the assenting masses, the text of the proclamazione explicitly indicates where the crowd applauded: ‘«Sì» rispondono con un grido formidabile i cittadini’ (Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 48). Compare Opera omnia (n. 20 above), p. 269: ‘La folla prorompe in un formidabile: «Sì!»’.

  22. 22.

    An identical image preceded the Latin text in the Rassegna (n. 1 above), p. 3, where it is identified as a ‘fragment of an imperial bas-relief’ from the Vatican Museum.

  23. 23.

    First accounts of the Latin literature of Italian Fascism are Lamers, Reitz-Joosse and Sacré, ‘Italy’ (n. 3 above), Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Fascisme’ (n. 3 above) and Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above). The Latin literature of Italian Fascism has meanwhile been taken into consideration in M. Korenjak, Geschichte der neulateinischen Literatur. Vom Humanismus bis zur Gegenwart, Munich, 2016.

  24. 24.

    On the Codex Fori Mussolini, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, The Codex (n. 3 above).

  25. 25.

    C. Rundle, ‘Translation as a Threat to Fascism’, in Translation and Opposition, ed. D. Asimakoulas and M. Rogers, Bristol, 2011, pp. 295–304 (296–8).

  26. 26.

    On the anti-translation campaign of the late 1930s, see esp. C. Rundle, ‘Resisting Foreign Penetration: The Anti-Translation Campaign in Italy in the Wake of the Ethiopian War’, in Reconstructing Societies in the Aftermath of War: Memory, Identity and Reconciliation, ed. F. Brizio-Skov, Boca Raton, Florida, 2004, pp. 292–307 and id., Publishing Translations in Fascist Italy, Oxford, 2010, pp. 96–112. In the wake of the proclamation of empire in May 1936, the ideal of cultural autarky intensified, and a second anti-translation campaign was launched, in particular by the Authors and Writers Union (see Rundle, ‘Resisting Foreign Penetration’, pp. 113–64).

  27. 27.

    Rundle, Publishing Translations (n. 26 above), pp. 105–10.

  28. 28.

    The report is cited in Rundle, Publishing Translations (n. 26 above), pp. 106–07 (see also p. 131). The Vice President’s inclusion of the Greek classics is notable since, in Fascist Italy, there was a general tendency to minimize the Greek aspects of Italic or Roman culture and history. In archaeology, for instance, the study of Magna Graecia was discouraged, and the aims of the Società per la Magna Grecia were at odds with the regime’s promotion of pure ‘Romanness’ (see on this A. De Haan, ‘Umberto Zanotti Bianco and the Archaeology of Magna Graecia During the Fascist Era’, Fragmenta: Journal of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, 2, 2008, pp. 233–49).

  29. 29.

    C. Rundle and K. Sturge. ‘Introduction’, in Translation Under Fascism, New York, 2010, pp. 3–12 (8).

  30. 30.

    For example, B. Mussolini, Signor Mussolini’s Speech at the Assembly of the National Council of Corporations: November XIV, an. XII, Rome, 1933; Die Rede des Duce im Nationalrat der Korporationen: XIV. November XII. Jahr, Rome, 1933; Discours prononcé par le Duce au Conseil national des corporations: XIV novembre a. XII, Rome, 1933. For the CAUR’s history and activities, see B. Scholz, ‘Italienischer Faschismus als ‘Export’-Artikel (1927–1935): Ideologische und organisatorische Ansätze zur Verbreitung des Faschismus im Ausland’, PhD diss., University of Trier, 2001, pp. 287–346, without reference to its translation activities. For the CAUR’s use of Latin, see also below. In addition to the CAUR, the Istituto Cristoforo Colombo (for the promotion of Italian culture in Latin America) and the Istituto Italiano di Credito Marittimo were involved in publishing speeches by Mussolini in translation.

  31. 31.

    On Vincenzo Ussani (1870–1952), his views of Latin and his translation of Mussolini, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 232–3, 236–7.

  32. 32.

    Rundle, Publishing Translations (n. 26 above), p. 5. An examination of the exact number of Latin translations produced under Italian Fascism and elsewhere in Europe during this period is still lacking. It is therefore impossible to know just how widespread this practice was.

  33. 33.

    For an overview of Latin competitions during the ventennio fascista, see D. Gionta, ‘I certamina di poesia e prosa latina’, in La poesia latina nell’area dello stretto fra Ottocento e Novecento. Atti del convegno di Messina, 20–21 Ottobre 2000 nel centenario della nascita di Giuseppe Morabito (1900–1997), ed. V. Fera, D. Gionta and E. Morabito, Messina, 2006, pp. 195–240.

  34. 34.

    On the ideological functions of Latin under Fascism, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above) and The Codex (n. 3 above), pp. 16–27.

  35. 35.

    The scholarship on romanità is too extensive to summarize here. For good introductions to the subject in English, see in particular R. Visser, ‘Fascist Doctrine and the Cult of the Romanità’, Journal of Contemporary History, 27/1, 1992, pp. 5–22; M. Stone, ‘A Flexible Rome: Fascism and the Cult of Romanità’, in Roman Presences: Receptions of Rome in European Culture, 1798–1945, ed. C. Edwards, Cambridge, 1999, pp. 205–20; and J. Nelis, ‘Constructing Fascist Identity: Benito Mussolini and the Myth of Romanità’, The Classical World, 100/4, 2007, pp. 391–415.

  36. 36.

    ‘Romanorum veterum memoriam religiosissime colimus et veneramur: idque merito; namque iis illud sollemne semper fuit, ut praeterita respicientes futura prospicerent’ (V. Ussani (transl.), Beniti Mussolini Romae Laudes, Rome, 1934, p. 7).

  37. 37.

    ‘Ch’esso – l’albero miracoloso rinnovellatosi nel cinquantennio – dia frondi, fiori, e frutti, a perpetuare la gloriosa italica tradizione del latino, che fu di Roma; del latino, che fu degli Umanisti; del latino che è ancora dell’oggi, e che spiriti nuovi in vecchie forme – voce e eco ad un tempo – ritiene (…)’ (May this miraculous tree that has renewed itself in fifty years grow leaves, flowers and fruits, in order to perpetuate the glorious Italic tradition of the Latin language, once belonging to Rome; Latin, once belonging to the Humanists; Latin, which still belongs to the present and contains new spirits in ancient forms, being a voice and an echo at the same time …) (A. Bartoli, ‘Il movimento neoclassico’, in Atti del III Congresso nazionale di studi romani, III.4, Rome, 1934, pp. 228–32).

  38. 38.

    ‘il diploma di nobiltà di nostra gente di fronte a tutte le genti del mondo’ (C. Vignoli, ‘L’aviazione e la lingua di Roma’, in Atti del IV Congresso nazionale di studi romani, IV.3–4, Bologna, 1938, pp. 113–22 (114)).

  39. 39.

    On the CAUR and its journal Roma Universa, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 236–7.

  40. 40.

    For a discussion of the Latin inscriptions on the Siegesplatz in Bozen, with special attention to the use of Vergil and Horace, see W. Strobl, ‘‘Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento…’. La ricezione di Virgilio e Orazio nell’ Italia fascista: il caso di Piazza della Vittoria a Bolzano’, Quaderni di storia, 78, 2013, pp. 87–135, previously published in German: ‘‘Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento…’: Zur Rezeption von Vergil und Horaz im italienischen Faschismus am Beispiel des Siegesplatzes in Bozen’, Antike und Abendland, 58, 2012, pp. 143–66.

  41. 41.

    Importantly, Amatucci, as a school inspector, was directly involved in the educational politics of the regime. See the pages on Amatucci in Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, The Codex (n. 3 above), pp. 10–15.

  42. 42.

    A. G. Amatucci, ‘Il tradurre in latino e lo spirito classico’, Scuola e cultura. Annali della istruzione media, 6, 1930, pp. 42–51 (49).

  43. 43.

    Ibid., pp. 44–5.

  44. 44.

    ‘Da un lato esso offre un primo contributo al movimento nazionale per il ritorno all’ uso del latino nelle trattazione scientifiche e nelle manifestazioni solenni dell’anima italiana, che riprende le sue più antiche tradizioni di fronte al mondo moderno’ (Rispoli in Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 5).

  45. 45.

    ‘Dall’altro lato, esso permette agli stranieri di conoscere i pensieri del Duce con la loro perfetta rispondenza alle intime convinzioni del popolo italiano, senza possibilità di equivoci o malintesi derivanti da scarsa conoscenza della nostra lingua o da manchevoli traduzioni nelle varie lingue, nel momento in cui la parola del Duce si diffuse per radio o nei giornali di tutti i paesi civili. Il testo latino acquista in tal modo un valore documentario unico per coloro che nelle varie nazioni vorranno rendersi conto dello spirito e della compattezza nazionale ottenuta in quattordici anni di regime fascista’ (ibid., pp. 5–6).

  46. 46.

    Ibid., p. 5 and Festa, Saggio (n. 13 above), p. 193.

  47. 47.

    See also Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua lictoria’ (n. 3 above), p. 221.

  48. 48.

    Rispoli in Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 1 above), p. 7.

  49. 49.

    Ibid., p. 5.

  50. 50.

    See the discussion in G. Rispoli, ‘Perennità del latino’, Per lo studio e l’uso del latino. Bollettino internazionale di studi – ricerche – informazioni, 1/1 (1939), pp. 99–100. Rispoli also reported discussions about the use of Latin conversation for women in the Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno (Bari) and Il Telegrafo (Livorno). On Per lo studio, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 232–3, with further references.

  51. 51.

    Gigante, ‘Nicola Festa’ (n. 9 above), pp. 62–3. On Gigante, see the useful brief article in the Catalogus Philologorum Classicorum (n. 19 above).

  52. 52.

    In the preface to his translation of the proclamazione, Giovanni Battista Pighi claims that he translated the text in order to read it with his students. See Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 449.

  53. 53.

    Rispoli in Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 5.

  54. 54.

    Something similar is suggested in a letter of Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863–1938) to Mussolini, in which the famous writer claims to have translated a speech by Mussolini into Latin in the style of Caesar and Sallust: ‘Questo latino ignudo, più che qualsivoglia acutezza d’indagini, svela gli spiriti della tua eloquenza’ (This plain [lit. nude] Latin, more than any accurate examination [of your speech], reveals the spirit of your eloquence), cited in Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 449. Cf. Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above), p. 217.

  55. 55.

    In translation studies, it has been emphasized that the transformation involved in translating can be two-fold: Translators change aspects of the original message but may also adapt characteristics of the target language. In this case, Festa for example makes the adjective lictorius (referring to the lictor in ancient Latin) to mean ‘Fascist’, which is an obviously unclassical meaning. Festa thus creates a ‘neologism of sense’ by attaching a new meaning to an existing word (on this notion, see H. Helander, ‘On Neologisms in Neo-Latin’, in Brill’s Encylopaedia of the Neo-Latin World, ed. J. Bloemendal et al., Leiden, 2014, pp. 37–54 (37), with references). This two-directional transformation process in translating is also known as allelopoiesis (see esp. H. Böhme et al., Transformation: Ein Konzept zur Erforschung kulturellen Wandels, Paderborn, 2011, p. 11 and passim and Studien zur Praxis der Übersetzung antiker Literatur: Geschichte – Analysen – Kritik, ed. J. Kitzbichler and U. C. A. Stephan, Berlin, 2016).

  56. 56.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), pp. 42–3. Apparently, the anonymous translator of Mussolini’s proclamazione also felt the need to add the idea of military discipline to his translation: ‘ad hanc metam quintum iam decimum annum pollentes neque eo minus militari disciplina assuetas novae subolis vires excitavimus’ (n. 10 above). Pighi, by contrast, translated: ‘Lictorium imperium quod immortali Romanorum fascium auctoritate nitatur in idem fortissima Italorum iuventus quattuordecim per annos summis viribus disciplinaque contenderit’ (Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451).

  57. 57.

    Perhaps Festa was also suggesting a parallel with the ancient expression amplissimus ordo, used by Pliny the Younger (Ep. X.3) and Suetonius (Otho 8; Vesp. 2) to denote the senatorial order.

  58. 58.

    For instance, the word for the most emblematic kind of Roman clothing, toga, is not used to refer to ‘Roman citizens’ as is togati (see Oxford Latin Dictionary s.v. ‘toga’).

  59. 59.

    Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 251.

  60. 60.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 44. In the Opera omnia (n. 20 above), p. 269, the text reads: ‘Questo è nella tradizione di Roma, che, dopo aver vinto, associava i popoli al suo destino’.

  61. 61.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 45. Compare here Pighi’s translation: ‘Hoc enim maiores nostri statuerunt, ut subactorum causas cum Romana victoria fortunisque communicarent’ (Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451) and that of the anonymous Latinist: ‘Nam Romanum est vincere, victores autem in omnes belli pacisque fortunas consociare’ (n. 10 above).

  62. 62.

    Compare: ‘Il popolo italiano ha creato col suo sangue l’Impero’ (Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), p. 47). While the anonymous Latinist translated this passage fairly literally (‘Italiam gentem fateor sanguine suo imperium peperisse’), Pighi smuggled the notion of ‘virtue’ into his translation: ‘populus Italicus imperium sanguine ac virtute partum laboribus ornabit et operis’ (Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451).

  63. 63.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), pp. 42–3.

  64. 64.

    Ibid., pp. 46–7. Note that, unlike Pighi (‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451), the anonymous translator also used an active construction with ‘excitavimus’ (n. 10 above).

  65. 65.

    See W. Kierdorf, ‘Annales Maximi’, in Der Neue Pauly, ed. H. Cancik and H. Schneider, Brill Online (http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e122400).

  66. 66.

    The word annales additionally evokes two highlights of Roman historiography: Ennius’s hexametrical poem Annales, chronicling Roman history from the time of Aeneas through the regal period to the poet’s own day (239–169 BC), as well as Tacitus’s prose history known under the same name, covering the period from the accession of Tiberius in AD 14 to the death of Nero in 68.

  67. 67.

    Note that both Pighi and the anonymous translator of the speech use the term fasti in their translations of this passage. Pighi translates ‘Africam victoriam fastis induximus…’ (‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451), while the anonymous Latinist renders the passage as ‘Africana victoria in Patriae memoribus Fastis … extat’ (n. 10 above).

  68. 68.

    Other Latin translators used intertextual allusions to Roman authors more overtly. For instance, when Festa’s student Giorgio Pasquali (1885–1952) translated the Italian epigraphs of Nello Quilici (1890–1940) for the Arco dei Fileni in Libya, he wove easily recognizable references to Sallust’s Bellum Jugurthinum into the Latin text. Although the monument was torn down by Gaddafi’s troops in the early 1970s, the text of the inscriptions survives in La strada litoranea della Libia, Verona, 1937, pp. 145–8. On the inscriptions, see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, ‘Lingua Lictoria’ (n. 3 above), pp. 240–3.

  69. 69.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), pp. 42–3. The Horatian subtext is absent in the other translations. Cf. Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451: ‘Africam victoriam fastis induximus integram puram qualem exoptarunt qualem qui ceciderunt qui supersunt milites patriae volverunt’, and the anonymous translation (n. 10 above): ‘Africana victoria … extat ut legionariis omnibus fuit in votis qui vitam pro Patria fuderunt et qui supersunt atque ii sanguine assequi voluerunt’.

  70. 70.

    Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), pp. 44–5.

  71. 71.

    De Civitate Dei XIX.12. On this passage as a political analogy, see J. von Heyking, Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World, Columbia and London, 2001, pp. 128–9.

  72. 72.

    Pighi, ‘Beniti Mussolini’ (n. 10 above), p. 451.

  73. 73.

    While these two examples of intertextual referencing can be regarded as bearing upon the reader’s interpretation of the Latin text, some other formulations might have been taken from other ancient authors without any obvious reason beyond stylistic or phraseological convenience. This might be the case for Festa’s formulation ‘adversus omnes mortales’ which amplifies Mussolini’s ‘contro chiunque’ (Mussolini, La fondazione (n. 2 above), pp. 46–7) and which also occurs in Livy (XXXVII.45.9). Such borrowings buttressed the important theoretical argument that Latin was perfectly capable of relating to modern life (see Lamers and Reitz-Joosse, The Codex (n. 3 above), p. 21).

  74. 74.

    ‘uno squillo di tromba senza senso in uno scenario di rovine’ (D’Elia, ‘Nicola Festa’ (n. 9 above), p. 111).

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Lamers, H. Latinizing Mussolini’s Message: Nicola Festa’s Latin Translation of the ‘Proclamation of Empire’ (1936/7). Int class trad 24, 198–218 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12138-016-0424-4

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  • Classical Tradition
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  • Latin Translation
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