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Loci Immutati 25

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Loci Immutati 25

Postby Whilom » Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:57 pm

Alright, I'm stuck on one part near the end, beginning with line 9. This is the Latin. Below I'll give my translation.

Visendus ater flumine languido
Cocytos errans et Danai genus
infame damnatusque longi
Sisyphus Aeolides laboris.

I haven't been able to get past that. This is what I have:

Dark Cocytus wandering has been visiting the sluggish river
and ...

I know that Cocytus is a river, but the "sluggish river" is either dative or ablative, not nominative, so I'm struggling to find where that fits. Help?

Thank you!
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Postby benissimus » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:55 pm

Actually, flumine languido cannot be dative because of the ending on flumine (dative flumini), so it must be ablative. The translation is literally "black Cocytos, roaming with sluggish river", which of course sounds a bit off. What it really means, by the poetic device known as metonymy, is "black Cocytos, flowing with sluggish water". While a bit jarring at first, this sort of word usage is not at all unusual in poetry.

I think in this very same carmen Horace uses the word unda to mean water, which, although a little more obvious, is the same process.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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