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Books about Peace

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Books about Peace

Postby Feles in silva » Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:32 pm

There is a sentence in the Practice and Review for Ch. 7 which is causing me some difficulty:

Post bellum multos libros de pace et remediis belli videbant.

Benissimus' answer key translates it thus:

After the war, they kept seeing many books about peace and the remedies for war.

My problem is with the "remedies" and "war" part.

I assumed first that remediis is in the ablative, since it is part of the "de pace et ..." and de takes the ablative.

So if remediis is in the abl. pl., then what is belli? It could only be gen. sg. "of war".

So the translation of the last part of the sentence would be "...remedies of war". The translation has "for war" which would imply the dative, right? So to say "for war" I would write "remediis bello".

This has me confused as the case doesn't seem to fit right.

On a separate note, this sentence had me thinking belli might be nom. pl. masc. beautiful as in beautiful books. I still confuse bellum, -i with bellus, -a, -um. Which got me to think, how would one write "beautiful war"? Bellum bellum?
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Postby Turpissimus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:22 am

On a separate note, this sentence had me thinking belli might be nom. pl. masc. beautiful as in beautiful books. I still confuse bellum, -i with bellus, -a, -um. Which got me to think, how would one write "beautiful war"? Bellum bellum?


This is a mistake that every beginning Latin student with some experience in the romance languages seems to make. Pulcher is the word for beautiful - it's a first/second declension adjective. Beautiful war is bellum pulchrum.

There is a sentence in the Practice and Review for Ch. 7 which is causing me some difficulty:

Post bellum multos libros de pace et remediis belli videbant.

Benissimus' answer key translates it thus:

After the war, they kept seeing many books about peace and the remedies for war.

My problem is with the "remedies" and "war" part.

I assumed first that remediis is in the ablative, since it is part of the "de pace et ..." and de takes the ablative.

So if remediis is in the abl. pl., then what is belli? It could only be gen. sg. "of war".

So the translation of the last part of the sentence would be "...remedies of war". The translation has "for war" which would imply the dative, right? So to say "for war" I would write "remediis bello".

This has me confused as the case doesn't seem to fit right.


Not too sure about what this is but...

The cases are used a little differently in Latin than their English counterparts. For instance via Cumarum is, I believe, the Latin for the Road to Cumae. What you are seeing is an example of the genitive of characteristic (I think), which defines or restricts the word it relates to. I suppose we could have a dative of purpose here, but it just seems to be a Latin idiom.
Last edited by Turpissimus on Sun Jan 30, 2005 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby benissimus » Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:03 am

Just to add my comments onto what was said above...

Latin uses the genitive with nouns such as cura, amor, remedium, desiderium, avaritia, etc. to describe what the noun applies to (genitive of characteristic or objective genitive). Rather than saying "she has love for him", Latin would say "she has a love of him"; instead of "care for war" (where "care" is a noun), Latin would say "care of war"; instead of "cure for the disease", Latin would say "cure of the disease"; rather than "desire for freedom", Latin would say "desire of freedom"; rather than "greed for money", Latin would say "greed of money". In these cases I tend to translate them the way that sounds best in English, with "for". You may choose to translate more literally, and if you have a teacher he may demand it.

bellus, -a, -um is not commonly used in Classical Latin in the sense of "pretty", though it is very common after the Classical period and in colloquial language. Usually when it is used, it carries the meaning "fine/lovely"; being a diminutive of bonus, -a, -um, this word is a bit too sugary for most contexts.
Last edited by benissimus on Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Feles in silva » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:13 am

benissimus wrote:Just to add my comments onto what was said above...

Latin uses the genitive with nouns such as cura, amor, remedium, desiderium, avaritia, etc. to describe what the noun applies to (genitive of characteristic or objective genitive). Rather than saying "she has love for him", Latin would say "she has a love of him"; instead of "care for war" (where "care" is a noun), Latin would say "care of war"; instead of "cure for the disease", Latin would say "cure of the disease"; rather than "desire for freedom", Latin would say "desire of freedom"; rather than "greed for money, Latin would say "greed of money". In these cases I tend to translate them the way that sounds best in English, with "for". You may choose to translate more literally, and if you have a teacher he may demand it.


Ok, that explains it. Now your translation makes sense now. I don't think Wheelock has discussed the use of the genitive in this way meaning I would translate from English to Latin using the dative, which would be wrong.

Are nouns which use the genitive of characterisitic noted in the dictionary, or is there some other rule to govern which nouns, like the ones you list above take the genitive of characterisitic?
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