hello hello hello / by Anthony Gibbins

Well, having spent two of the past three posts on Imperative Verbs, it seems a shame to pass over my favourite Imperative Verb: salve! (one person) salvete! (more-than-one). The Oxford Classical Dictionary supposes this Imperative to have originated from the Verb salveo, yet it has no entry for the Verb itself. The Cassell’s does, providing salveo, salvere (just two Principal Parts), and commenting on its limited usage. To quote, Used chiefly in the forms salve, salvete, salveto, salvebis, salvere (iubeo), as a greeting. The Oxford includes all of these, and adds salveo as well.

As I commented in a previous post, I take salve! to mean be well! although the Oxford suggests Hallo! good morning! how are you? or similar. As well as, I should mention, Farewell! and May it go well with you! (although only on parting).

Of the forms quoted by Cassell’s, salve and salvete are already understood. salveto is a Future Imperative, which I assume extends the good wishes into the future. Plautus has this exchange - A: salve, adulescens. S: et tu multum salveto, adulescentula. salvebis would literally mean you will be well. Cicero wrote to his friend Atticus salvebis a meo Cicerone you will be well from my Cicero which the Cassell’s takes to mean my son (Cicero) sends you greetings. salvere iubeo means I order to be well. Again, Cicero has Dionysium velim salvere iubeas I should like you to order Dionysius to be well or - my translation - say hi to Dionysius for me. Finally, the Oxford quotes another Plautian character saying salveo, which surely means I am well.

ecce! Claudia is back! Just in time to get mixed up in adventures.

Suddenly someone shouts ‘Be well!’ Bravo! Claudia has returned. Very happy she greets her friends. Then she notices Jessica and also greets (her). Turning herself to Miranda she asks ‘What’s new?’

*quid novi