De Dardano mercatore, annonam flagellante (n.d.)

It is unknown whether this poetic account of a merchant arrested and hung for trying to artificially fix grain prices was a real event, and if it was where Rollock observed the episode. Metre: elegiac couplets.

Link to an image of this page  [p387]

De Dardano mercatore, annonam flagellante

1Frumenti ingentem numerum mercator avarus
compulerat, lucri spe faciente fidem.
At cessisse famem cernens, nec posse parari,
quae miser in messem Dardanus aera dedit.
5De trabe sublimi, collisa fauce, pependit
(quae vis jacturae, quaeque pudoris erat).
Accurrit famulus, strepituque excitus herili
pallida lethali pondere lora secat.
Ille ad se rediens, vibex elisus ut aegri
10gutturis et voci pervia facta via est:
'redde', ait, 'integrum domino, furnuncule, funem:
12cui per te gratis non licet ecce mori!'

Link to an image of this page  [p387]

On the merchant Dardanus, fixing crop prices

The greedy merchant had gathered together a remarkable quantity of grain, his faith in making the hope of profit. But realising that the rumour had failed, nor could it be procured, the wretch Dardanus gave over the value which was in the crop. With his throat squeezed, he was hung from a high beam (whatever redness there was, was caused by the force of his throwing). a His servant, agitated, ran to his master's cries and the pale thong was cut off from its lethal weight. Dardanus, returning to himself, had his bruise b relaxed so that the passageway of his suffering throat and voicebox was opened: 'give back', he said, 'the whole rope to the lord, you petty thief: 'look, he wasn't allowed to die for free on your behalf!'



a: and not by his shame, since 'pudor' also refers to the reddening caused by this feeling.

b: The livid weals caused by the constriction of the rope around his neck.