Roman Sweeps


Ben Tripp



tandem = at last


Greeks considered it was kidnapping


10 years according to Virgil


The Greeks do not like the

Trojans, they are sailing to Asia

they are going to besiege

Troy for a long time


The Greeks and the Trojans fight outside

the walls for a long time

The Greeks kill many Trojans

The Trojans kill many Greeks


After a while, the Greeks build

a wooden horse, this hollow structure

carries many Greeks


then the Greeks can re-appear and vanquish

                                          the Trojans

                             from the inside


it is the question


a geographical area with its own governing body

a certain area that is separated from another area

       by borders


I’ll tell you why we

have the words


           Camilla in The Aeneid


.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Among the Italians, Latinus reigns.


Latinus helps the Trojans


Camilla (“even though a woman”) helps the



The poet tells the story as follows


Among the Volsci, Metabus reigns


after a few years

others build Alba Longa


The Volsci don’t like Metabus


Therefore M.b. takes his small

daughter and wanders thru Italy


Finally he sees the deep river


He ties his daughter to a long



When the Volsci approach he throws

the spear across the river


The Goddess Diana helps Metabus

the spear carries Camilla across the



Thus Metabus is safe, Camilla is safe


Afterwards they wander through many

lands together


But the Trojans kill Camilla and

could defeat the Rutuli


      It’s the 8th hour. Middle of the afternoon probably

The subura is not quiet. It is clamoring loud

Faustus is in the building, his daughter is in the shop

Faustus the landlord, I guess

erasing graffiti

that accuses him of being a thief

“Are you sleeping, Rufina?”

“I’m not sleeping!”

I’m always working

has thinking brought me here

as some people say to me

then how might I leave it

and be done with this consequence

where did it really start

looking back just might be worse

I don’t know the tautology


He is just a character/interlocutor

bothering people

he served in the army

he would vote

& pester people on the street

he wouldn’t let people get away

with their first answer


“so much of the

Catholic faith

is built on Platonism”


After Romulus, many kings reigned among

        the Romans


When Tullus Hostilius reigned

the three Horatii were growing up

                         thriving blossoming


the Romans fought with the Albani


The gods will help the Romans


The gods will give the Romans



quamquam solus est . . .


in the field between Rome and Alba

they fight


non iam

oraculum, oraculi

oracula, oraculorum


“ . . . because the oracles of the gods

they have . . . ”


You will have the books if you

give me money


You will no longer be ignorant

of the oracles of the gods


The king laughs and sends her away

because she is asking for too much money


Sybil sets fire to three of the books

out of nine


She returns with the remaining six

but the price is the same


Again Tarquinius laughs and sends her away


When she returns again she has only three books

and still doesn’t lower the price


No longer does he laugh


                     the Roman people

often adjudicate

separate desires


/ (they) were helping


Near the bank of the river


into the camp of the Etruscans


at last the Romans expelled


Tarquinius from the country


because of many injustices


But soon he returns with many



Porsena helps Tarquinius with

many Etruscans


et castra (prope ripam fluvii) ponit

    castra ponere = to set up camp


the Romans were greatly scared


while Gaius Mucius hastens

secretly into the camp of

                          the Etruscans


and there he draws his sword


and runs not at Porsena (who doesn’t look

                                                 like a king)


kills the poor secretary

not Porsena


Mucius doesn’t know what Porsena

looks like




Déjà vu


spinning webs as a



Learning is recollection


You’ve always known it somehow


Which fork gets taken

and which other left behind




one example pointing to the general


“Why are you drawing your sword

against me?”


Exceptional Roman


Mucius replies


“I don’t ask for compassion

nor do I fear death”




to get a sense of structure


Mucius Scaevola


The flames are consuming his


as he says

interlocking 300 Praetorians armored now

coming towards the camp


Fearing neither the flames


the persistence of the man

affects Porsena


He gets a nickname


out of the dead, and fabulous



he wasn’t even after a famous

title, refrigerator, car


      Itaque: “And so . . .”




         Gaius Marcius est vir (inter Romanos)

Nom.                Acc.                     praeclarus

         a distinguished guy among

           the Romans


         they call him Coriolanus

         for the rest of the story

               because he attacked

               the city of the Volsci



with great arrogance

              he looks down on the people 


              and so the Romans attack him


the road lined with tombs

the dead need to be remembered

in public in Ancient Rome

the inscriptions on these things


A poor man is in the sepulcher

the canine sees it


People bring offerings like

food and wine, bread 


Gisco holds them


passing under the Arch of Claudius



Infans est laetus.


Catia non est laeta.

Catia est Britannica


scorns the emperor

his statue and horse-d


             in vain for nothing


             they send ambassadors


             it’s me



             “Why do you lead

             troops against your own





             finally a woman’s tears

             move Coriolanus

             to change


if you give them a truce

you will lack a victory

occido, occidere


because (somebody did something)

propter = because of something

                       on account of


Regulus will not stay in Italy

Regulus will not scorn the promise




when the people chose to elect

a dictator


so that an enemy overwhelming

would not triumph


uxor, uxor-is, f.



He shouted to his partner

“I’m under-dressed,” the statesmen

are coming


when he heard the



“I don’t desire any honors.”


“ . . . Nullum imperium

nullos honores desidero . . .”


salus publi(k)a


(k)i(w)ibus meis


demands me


he hurried from the fields

and left for the city


the old man thought little

of all the rewards


off you go


milés, milit-is


he put it aside

and returned to his fields


and not afterwards did he ever

disrespect the work of a farmer

although he had once

the power of a dictator









Ben Tripp is a poet who has also written critically about poetry, art, music & other etcetera(s) for many publications including The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, HTML Giant, Whitehot Magazine and Full-Stop Quarterly. He is the author of two e-books “The Lemon” (Metambesen, 2014) and “What About Frasier”(Gauss PDF, 2015). He is also an educator who has worked in both public and private schools throughout New York City, where he currently lives. He blogs and archives work at



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