58. Study Questions Copy

Unseen passage translation practice


Translate the section in Taylor on page 172.


An unknown old woman approached king Tarquinius Superbus. She was carrying nine books which she said were prophecies of the gods. She wanted to sell the books, but she demanded so much money that the king, laughing, believed her to be a mad old woman. So she walked to the hearth and threw three books into the fire. With this destroyed, she now asked Tarquin  whether he wished to  buy the remaining books for the same price. However she did not persuade him: the king laughed much more. And so the old woman immediately burned three other books. When she had done this, she calmly asked whether he would buy the three remaining for the same price.

Tarquinius, however, because he understood that he could not disregard so much perseverance, obeyed the old woman. And so, he bought three books at no lesser price than for all that had been first asked for. And she, when she had departed from the king, afterwards was never seen. The three books, placed in a temple, were carefully guarded. Its advice was always sought when the people of Rome had to be saved from danger.


Play Video