The first sentence of Cicero's second Catilinarian reads in part

Tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam . . . ex urbe . . . ejecimus.

(I realize I'm leaving out all the fun parts; forgive me.)

You can't say "Finally at some point, Romans," etc. in English, so I'm trying to figure out what flavor aliquando adds to tandem.

Yonge translates the part I've quoted as

At length, O Romans, we have dismissed from the city . . . Lucius Catiline.

and Grant gives

At long last, citizens, Lucius Catilina . . . has been expelled from Rome.

"At length" seems like a straight translation of tandem. I imagine that "at long last" could add to "at last" a flavor of having waited for something a very long time, but I could also just be making that up.

A search of the corpus for tandem aliquando shows several occurrences (many in the Catilinarians), but I can't figure out from any of the rest of them what "aliquando" is doing.

What's the difference between tandem and tandem aliquando?

  • 1
    The question pushes my English beyond my knowledge, but as far as I understand it, the word eventually has both functions at a time: to mark the end of something, and to point that there was an underterminate wait, am I wrong?
    – Rafael
    May 11, 2016 at 18:36
  • 2
    Ah, interesting. You can't say "eventually" about something in the present tense—only past or future—but you could approximate it with something like, "Finally, after God knows how long, we've kicked Catiline out." May 11, 2016 at 20:19
  • FWIW, my sense of what aliquando is doing is the same as Rafael's.
    – TKR
    May 11, 2016 at 20:28
  • @JoelDerfner not even in present perfect like in ejecimus? I mean, present perfect happens in the past: it is only from the present that it is reported
    – Rafael
    May 11, 2016 at 20:30
  • 2
    Hmm. "We have eventually kicked him out" sounds weird to me. May 11, 2016 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


Aliquando (at some point in time) besides Tandem (finally) seems to be adding that the -long or eagerly expected- end of a process (expelling LC) was reached after an undeterminate waiting period (thus emphasizing that it felt long).

  • 1
    I (and L&S) agree that tandem adds an exasperated "finally", e.g. "After all this time--finally--etc." Note that this is kind of similar to the beginning of the First Cataline Oration: usque tandem
    – brianpck
    May 12, 2016 at 21:38

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