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BLB: Seneca saying

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BLB: Seneca saying

Postby Timothy » Sun May 02, 2004 6:40 pm

I'm a bit bogged down with 3rd and 4th conjugations and wanted a break so I did this as a bit of amusement. I always want to know the mottos a book uses before I can read them. :roll: The Beginner's Latin Book by Collar and Daniell has one from Seneca:

Longum iter est per praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla.

I wanted to see if I could translate it using the book dictionary where needed. A sight translation, (given that I know of iter, per), is,

"The long road is by precept; brief and efficient by example."

Now I looked up a few things:

longus, -a, -um, adj., long
iter, itineris, n. way, road, march.
praeceptor, -oris, m, teacher, preceptor cf. magister.
praeceptum, -i, n, maxim, precept.
brevis, -o, adj. short, brief
efficio, 3, -feci, fectum, bring to pass, effect, complete; make, construct.
exempla - unknown;
assumed to be exemplum, -i, n. example

This gives me:

"The long way is by maxims, brief and complete by examples."

Now here I am wading through 3rd conjugation forms and efficax from efficio is foriegn to me now. I am sure exempla is in my L+S but it wasn't in the BLB dictionary. I am also assuming the abl. plur. for praecepta and exempla.

:?: How'd I do?

- Tim
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Re: BLB: Seneca saying

Postby benissimus » Sun May 02, 2004 7:09 pm

Timothy wrote:I'm a bit bogged down with 3rd and 4th conjugations and wanted a break so I did this as a bit of amusement. I always want to know the mottos a book uses before I can read them. :roll: The Beginner's Latin Book by Collar and Daniell has one from Seneca:
A noble pastime, Timothy.

Longum iter est per praecepta, breve et efficax per exempla.
"The long road is by precept; brief and efficient by example."

Your translation is accurate, but you showed some misunderstanding in your method for coming to it, probably because you haven't covered some of the necessary material to read this.

per takes the accusative
praecepta is an accusative plural
efficax, -acis is a nominative singular third declension adjective of any gender, meaning "efficient", as you correctly decided (hence efficacious in English)
exempla is the nominative or accusative (in this case) plural of exemplum

So, a smoother way to say it might be "The road by instruction is long, [the road] by examples is short and thorough."
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Timothy » Sun May 02, 2004 7:54 pm

D'oh!

I have ablative on the brain of late. I truly did mean acc. plur. for exempla. It's the "odd" one. -is -a -is.

(I wonder if eveybody does that? Make that little endings rhyme?)

Thanks for the insight.

- Tim
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