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Mirum in modum

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Mirum in modum

Postby TonyLoco23 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:49 pm

I have come across this expression: "mirum in modum", which literally seems to mean something like "marvel at the way" or "in a marvelous way". What would be the best way to translate it into English? Does it simply mean "incredibly"?
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby woodwose » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:54 pm

Hey there,

mirum in modum. I would go with "in a marvelous way."

You didn't happen to read this in Plautus, did you?
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby lauragibbs » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:51 pm

Hi Tony, it is very common for a complement of a preposition to 'wrap around' the preposition, so mirum in modum is the same as in mirum modum (compare the word order in the well-known phrase summa cum laude for example).

And yes, it means in a marvelous way, in a surprising way, surprisingly. You can also find similar expressions: mirandum in modum, mirabilem in modum, mirificum in modum, etc.

:-)
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby adrianus » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:20 pm

And by writing it so, you are stressing the adjective.
Sic in scribendo vis adjectivo datur.
MIRUM in modum, SUMMÂ cum laude.
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: Mirum in modum

Postby Craig_Thomas » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:03 am

Does anyone know why it's accusative, when sense seems to demand an ablative?
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby woodwose » Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:51 pm

You're right--it looks like it should be in the ablative. Here's my best guess:

I first encountered this in a Medieval Latin* context and assumed that it was accusative simply because Classical Latin's rules/grammar/syntax got mixed up a bit in the Medieval period.

*I think it was one of the acrostic prologues appended to one of Plautus' plays (Menaechmi?)
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby lauragibbs » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:03 pm

By sense I guess you mean English sense, yes? If so, then think of it "to a surprising degree, to an unexpected extreme" (modus can mean lots of things in terms of English, and one meaning is not just a measure but also the limit or extent of that measure).
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby Imber Ranae » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:07 am

woodwose wrote:You're right--it looks like it should be in the ablative. Here's my best guess:

I first encountered this in a Medieval Latin* context and assumed that it was accusative simply because Classical Latin's rules/grammar/syntax got mixed up a bit in the Medieval period.

*I think it was one of the acrostic prologues appended to one of Plautus' plays (Menaechmi?)


It's classical. The same sort of thing can be seen with other words that indicate measure, like in altitudinem "in height/depth".

Also, quemadmodum (quem ad modum) is sometimes used as an alternative of quomodo.
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: Mirum in modum

Postby TonyLoco23 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:06 pm

woodwose wrote:You didn't happen to read this in Plautus, did you?


I have come across it in a number of places. Though I don't think it is always in the accusative case.

One example I can refer to is Lingua Latina Pars 1, at the top of page 238 (second line). Here it was in the accusative form.
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