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Ch 31 1000 basiorum

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Ch 31 1000 basiorum

Postby phil » Mon Dec 15, 2003 3:00 am

The last three lines have got me baffleissimused.

11. conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
12. aut ne quis malus invidere possit
13. cum tantum sciat esse basiorum

11. We will jumble those things (what things?), so that we may not know,
12. nor so that someone may cast an evil eye,
13. when he may know so many kisses to be..

As you can see I haven't a clue what it means.

iuvate me!

Phil
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Postby benissimus » Mon Dec 15, 2003 5:29 am

11. conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
12. aut ne quis malus invidere possit
13. cum tantum sciat esse basiorum


11. We will jumble those things (what things?), so that we may not know,
Right, he is referring to the basia, "kisses," with illa. I.e. the kissing will be so chaotic that we won't* know (how many there are)... "Won't" sounds more idiomatically correct in English, but if you are fond of subjunctives then go for it.

12. nor so that someone may cast an evil eye,
Right.

13. when he may know so many kisses to be..
"When" does work, but it might make more sense if you use "since."

So, all together:
We will mix those up, so that we may not know how many there are,
or so that anyone may not cast an evil eye
since he knows how many kisses there are.


Now, interpretation is a whole other game ;) I wonder if he means that there are so many kisses that no one would be jealous because it is far more kisses than anybody would desire, or if there is another meaning. Ideas?
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby whiteoctave » Thu Dec 18, 2003 8:51 pm

The end to this particular poem is based upon a financial metaphor, of which Catullus used many.
There was strong superstition in Rome that if a given man counted all of his money exactly he would somehow lose his fortune. Here Catullus states that his own fortune is in the number of kisses he has had and wishes to have with his Lesbia/Clodia. If he, or indeed she, were to count the exact number of their seemingly innumerable kisses then, alas, their relationship would be destroyed by fate in the form of a jealous onlooker.
It all went down the pan anyhow, much to Catullus' annoyance!

~dave
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Postby benissimus » Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:55 am

Interesting point
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby phil » Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:17 pm

Thanks, it does make sense now! It would appear that learning Latin involves more than just learning Latin!
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