persōnae quīnque erunt.
The characters will be five (in number).
duo hominēs rēgālēs erunt
Two will be royal persons;
alter erit Amphitruō, altera Alcumēna.
one will be Aphitruo, the other Alcumena.
Amphitruō dux fortis est exercitūs Thēbānī, atque coniūnx Alcumēnae;
Amphitruo is a brave leader of the Theban army, the husband of Alcumena.
uir summā uirtūte.
(He is) a man of the highest courage.
Alcumēna est coniūnx Amphitruōnis atque fēmina summā continentiā.
Alcumena is the wife of Amphitruo and a woman of the highest restraint.
ūnus seruus erit, Sōsia nōmine;
there will be one (male) slave, Sosia by name;
seruus est Amphitruōnis, homo stultus et nūllā sapientiā.;
he is Amphitruo’s slave, a stupid man and (a man) of no wisdom.
duo dī erunt; alter erit Iuppiter, alter Mercurius.
There will be two gods; one will be Jupiter, the other Mercury.
Iuppiter rēx deōrum est, amator Alcumēnae, ac Amphitruōnis similis.
Jupiter is the king of the gods, the lover of Alcumena, and having the appearance Amphitruo.
Mercurius nūntius est deōrum, deus mendāx, ac Sōsiae similis.
Mercury is the messenger of the gods, a deceitful god, and with the appearance of Sosia.
MERCVRIVS “nōmen Mercuriō est mihi.
MERCURY “My name is Mercury.
MERCVRIVS “deus sum mendāx, deus sum multā sapientiā, dolīs multīs.
“I am a deceitful god, I am a god of much wisdom, (and) many tricks.
“ecce, hīc est oppidum Thēbae, hīc est domus Amphitruōnis, uirī summā uirtūte atque audāciā, dūcis exercitūs Thēbānī.
“Look, here is the town of Thebes, here is Amphitruo’s home, a man of the highest courage and audacity, the leader of the Theban army.
“uxor Alcumēna, fēmina summā continentiā, ex Amphitruōne grauida es.
“(His) wife Alcumena, a woman of highest restraint, is pregnant by Amphitruo.
“sed Amphitruō, uir fortis, cum exercitū abīre uult.
“But Amphitruo, a brave man, wishes to leave with his army.
“dīcet igitur Alcumēnae
“He will therefore say to Alcumena—
“ ‘Dum, uxor mea, domō nostrā cum exercitū absum, cum Tēleboīs bellum ācre et difficile geram’.
“ 'My wife, while I am away from home with my army, I will wage a harsh and difficult war with the Teleboans.' ”
“Dum Amphitruō domō abest, pater meus, rēx deōrum, imāginem capiet Amphitruōnis ac domum Alcumēnae intrābit.
“While Amphitruo is away from home, my father, the king of the gods, with take Amphitruo’s image and will enter Alcumena’s home.
“Amphitruōnis similis, intus cum Alcumēnā domī cubābit atque clam amābit.
“Looking like Amphitruo, inside, he will lie with Alcumena at home and will love her secretly.
“uobīs omnibus enim bene nōtus est Iuppiter noster; deus liber et mendāx est.
“For our Jupiter is well known to all of you; he is a free and deceitful god.
“praetereā, quia Iuppiter amātor est ācer, noctem longam faciet.
“Besides that, because Jupiter is an intense lover, he will make the night long.
“nihil Iouī difficile est.
“Nothing is difficult for Jupiter.
(Mercury now brings the situation up to date.)
"utrimque igitur nunc grauida est Alcumēna—et ē uirō et ē summō Ioue.
"Therefore Alcumena is pregnant on both sides—both from her husband and from highest Jupiter.
mox tamen et Amphitruō et seruus ab exercitū per uiam domum redībunt.
“Soon, however, both Amphitruo and his slave will return home by road from the army.
intereā, ego hīc in uiā manēbō dum redeunt.
“Meanwhile, I will remain here in the road while they are returning.”
(The battle against the Teleboae is won, and Sosia is sent ahead to give Alcumena the good news. Mercury spots him coming) ecce! Sōsia, seruus Amphitruōnis, nunc per uiam redit.
“Look! Sosia, Amphitruo’s slave, is now returning by road.
omnia dē uictōriā Alcumēnae nūntiāre uolet, at domum intrāre nōn poterit, quia ego seruum dēcipiam et domō abigam.
“He will want to announce everything about the victory to Alcumena, and he will not be able to enter the home, because I will deceive the slave and drive him from the home.
difficile mihi nōn erit, quia ego, Mercurius, nūntius deōrum, imāginem Sōsiae, seruī Amphitruōnis, bene capiam;
“It will not be difficult for me, because I, Mercury, the messenger of the gods, will properly [lit. “well”] seize the image of Sosia, Amphitruo’s slave.
sīc igitur Sōsiae similis erō.
“in this way, therefore, I will be similar to Sosia.”
(Sōsia, seruus Amphitruōnis, per uiam intrat)
(Sosia, Amphitruo’s slave, enters by road.)
SŌSIA seruus quam ācer atque celer sum ego!
SOSIA “What an intense and swift slave am I!
at nox celeris nōn est.
“But the night is not swift.
quam longa et nigra est, uia quam longa!
“How long and black it is, how long the road!”
MER. (clam) ācer? atque celer?
MER. (aside) “Intense? And swift?
at nōn ācrem tē habeō neque celerem, sed stultum.
“But I do not regard you as intense or swift, but stupid.”
SŌS. ācer sum, quia nox nōn celeris sed longa ac nigra est;
SOS. “I am intense, because the night is not swift but long and black.
at ego, uir fortis et audāx, sōlus per longam uiam, per longam noctem nigramque domum redeō.
“But I, a brave and bold man, return home alone over a long road, through a long and black night.
sed quāre nox longa est?
“But why is the night long?
quid negōtī est?
“What is (this) business? [lit. “what of business?”]
certē edepol, Nocturnus dormit ēbrius, ut ego crēdō;
“Certainly, by the twin gods Castor and Pollux, Night is sleeping drunk, as I believe;
nam Lūna nōn occidit neque diēs appārēre potest.
“For Moon is not setting nor can the day appear.
numquam iterum noctem uidēre poterō tam longam, tam nigram.
“Never again will I be able to see a night so long, so black.
MER. (clam) pergite, Nox et Lūna, ut nunc pergitis.
MER. (aside) “Proceed, Night and Moon, as you are proceeding now.
numquam iterum dominō meō et uestrō officium tam bonum facere poteritis.
“Never again will you be able to such a good service to my master and yours.
Iuppiter, dominus uester, grātus erit.
“Jupiter, your master, will be grateful.”
SŌS. noctem tam longam iterum uidēre nōlō.
SOS. “I do not want to see such a long night again.
mālō noctem breuem esse.
“I prefer night to be short.
nam sī dominus meus, ut solet, manūs meās uinciet atque mē uerberābit, nox ūna appārēbit duo uel trēs.
For if my master will, as he is accustomed to do, will bind my hands and will beat me, one night will appear (to be) two or three.
nōlō per noctem tam longam pendere.
“I don’t want to hang for such a long night.”
MER. (clam) sī nōn uīs per longam noctem pendere, tū faciēs quod ego uolō…
MER. (aside) “If you don’t want to hang for a long night, you will do what I want....
SŌS. ut crēdō, sōl uult dormīre, ēbrius bene.
SOS. “As I believe, the sun wants to sleep, properly drunk.”
MER. (clam) ecce! hominem tam stultum numquam iterum uidēbō.
MER. (aside) “Look. I will never again see a man so so stupid.”
SŌS. nunc domum dominī meī adībō et intrābō.
SOS. “Now I will approach my master’s home and I will enter.
officium meum modo faciam atque omnia dē uictōriā Alcumēnae bene nūntiābō.
“I will perform my duty and I will announce properly to Alcumena everything about the victory.
nam Alcumēna, domina mea, dē uictōriā audīre certē uolet.
“For Alcumena, my mistress, will certainly want to hear about the victory.
sed ōrātiōnem meam paulīsper cogitābō...
“but I will think for a little while about my speach....
quōmodō uictōriam nūntiābō Alcumēnae?
“How will I announce the victory to Alcumena?
atque quae uerba dē uictōriā dominae meae dīcam?
“And what words about the victory will I speak to my mistress.?
dum domum adeō, cogitābō...
“While I approach the home, I will reflect ....”