Pro Archia 3. 5

erat Italia tum plena graecarum artium ac disciplinarum

studiaque haec


et in Latio vehementius tum colebantur quam nunc isdem in oppidis
et hic Romae propter tranquillitatem rei publicae non neglegebantur.



(for further discussion see Murgia and Gotoff in Bibliography)





This sentence contains three propositions or main clauses. The first ends with disciplinarum, although it could have ended with artium, and it is neither in itself periodic nor is it joined to the other two propositions in a periodic structure.

The second and third propositions are joined periodically into one sentence simply by virtue of the et ... et.... construction.

  1. et in Latio creates an expectation of some parallel construction; et hic Romae fulfills that expectation.
  2. Since et in Latio looks forward to a parallel, the clause in Latio vehementius tum colebantur is not felt to complete the sense of the sentence, which is now a compound proposition, although it could easily complete the sense of the second proposition. The second proposition is, therefore, allowed to proceed at a leisurely pace, while the expectation of another et [locative] phrase maintains an overall sense of periodicity.
    This leisurely extension of the clause moves colebantur to the middle of the second clause, thereby avoiding a potentially unpleasant jingle with neglegebantur, while allowing the second clause to extend to a length almost exactly equal to that of the third clause.
  3. The third proposition, beginning et hic Romae, reaches its end with non neglebantur, a verb which syntactically closes the clause (there is no further syntactic information needed for the clause), formally closes the sentence (there is no unresolved syntactic or other formal structure in the sentence), and closes the thought (there is no more to say).

    This sentence succeeds, as many sentence in the pro Archia do, at joining a maximum of leisure to a maximum of art, while composing a complex thought about how the cultivation of poetry and poets requires tranquilitatem. Thus, the sentence seems to depend upon and practice that leisurely cultivation of art that Cicero in this case argues is central to the health of res publica.