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The Haunted House

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The Haunted House

Postby phil » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:48 pm

There are a quite a few areas in this story about a haunted house that I could use some help with. I have cut out all the stuff I understand, and highlighted the bits I need help with in bold.

[The house and its spectre are introduced] Inde inhabitantibus tristes diraeque noctes per metum vigilabantur; vigiliam morbus et crescente formidine mors sequebatur. After that, mournful and fearful nights were spent in vigilance by the inhabitants because of fear.illness and, with terror increasing, death followed wakefulness. Is 'crescente formidine' an abl.abs? Have I got this translation right?)

[The house is put up for sale or lease] Venit Athenas philosophus Athenodorus, legit titulum, auditoque pretio, quia suspecta vilitas, percontatus, omnia docetur ac nihilo minus, immo tanto magis, conducit. A philosoper called Athenodorus comes from Athens, he reads the advertisement, and having heard the price, and having enquired because of the suspicious cheapness, is told everything and by nothing less, or rather, more by so much, rents it. I'm totally confused by 'nihilo minus, immo tanto magis'. The notes to this story say this is degree of difference, but I can't make sense of 'less by nothing, or rather more by so much.

[He rents it anyway, and one night the ghost appears. Athenodorus follows it] Ibat idolon lento gradu quasi gravis vinculis. Postquam deflexit in aream domus, repente dilapsa deserit comitem; desertus herbas et folia concerpta signum loco ponit. Postero die adit magistratus, monet ut illum locum effodi iubeant. The ghost walks with slow steps, as though weighed down with heavy chains. Then he turns into an area of the house, and disappears, leaving his companion alone. Left alone, Athenodorus places grasses and torn-up leaves to mark the spot. I think that's what it means, but I can't quite get 'signum loco ponit'. Then, the next day, a magistrate appears and advises that they should order that area to be dug up. But why is iubeant in plural? Who are they? Is it just some ephemeral 'they', the way we say 'They should do something about that'?

Sorry this has got so long. Hope you're still reading. I look forward to your replies.

Cheers
Phil
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phil
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Re: The Haunted House

Postby adrianus » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:36 am

Salve philippe
...vigiliam morbus et crescente formidine mors sequebatur. = "After that, the inhabitants used to spend horrible, unhappy nights awake from fear: illness and death from the growing dread used to follow their sleeplessness." // "...their sleeplessness generally being followed by illness and death from the mounting dread."
Athenas = "to Athens"
nihilo minus, immo tanto magis = "he learned all [he could] and none the less he rented it, in fact [/rather/indeed] all the more [because of that]",—since, had he really known everything, he wouldn't have rented it!
in aream domûs = "into the yard"
herbas et folia concerpta = "grass and leaves he had picked"
signum loco = "as a sign to the place"
effodi iubeant = "the spot in question should be ordered to be dug up", impersonal passive, voce passivo et impersonale, et sicut dicis: "they should order that spot to be dug up"
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: The Haunted House

Postby adrianus » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:22 pm

I forgot this. // Hoc oblitus sum.
rusty wrote:Is 'crescente formidine' an abl.abs?

I believe it's ablative of cause not absolute, as if "effected by" were added or "ex", or in the phrase "death by drowning". I think the immeditate "et" rules out a subordinate clause, but I could well be wrong.
Causae non absolutus ille ablativus, ut credo, sicut "mors crescente formidine effecta" vel "mors submersione effecta" vel "mors [e] submersione. Nulla se intercedente inter "et" conjunctionem et collocationem, id contra inferiorem clausulam imperare puto, at me errare benè possibile est.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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