8. Tolleturne fama huius medici istis versibus novis?
What does "tolleturne" mean here? Is that poem "destroying" or "uplifting" the fame of this doctor? Although my instinct tells me that "uplifting" makes more sense, I cannot be 100% sure. How to differentiate the two total opposite meaning of "tollere": uplift vs. destroy?
Well, you can always download Benissimusâ€™ Wheelock Answers from this site. There youâ€™ll find:
8. Is the fame of this doctor being uplifted by those verses?
Just one nitpick: tolletur
is future, not present (tollitur
), so it must be Will the fame of this doctor be uplifted, etc.
Hope this doesn't sound ungrateful, Benissime! Your Answer key is a monument.
Perhaps â€˜upliftedâ€™ here equates to â€˜enhancedâ€™ , â€˜promotedâ€™, etc.
As to the 'Janus' nature of this verb: The basic meaning of tollere was probably â€˜raiseâ€™, lift upâ€™, in a physical sense. Itâ€™s easy to see how it might come to be used in the sense of â€˜removeâ€™. After all, when you pick up something from a table or other surface, you remove it. Itâ€™s a small step from there to metaphorically removing someone from the scene (destroying, eliminating, taking out). Also, think of a cyclone 'removing' (sweeping away, destroying) a city.
Even so, the sentence still seems to be ambiguous. Without more context, perhaps it could mean:
Will the reputation of this doctor be destroyed by those verses?
In fact, aren't these out-of-context sentences in Practice and Review a key weakness of the Wheelock system?