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ablative use confusion

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ablative use confusion

Postby Yvonne » Tue Feb 24, 2004 1:42 am

I'm translating Hyginus' Fabulae and I've come across an ablative use that's giving me trouble:

Hi propter solitudinem cum vivere non possent, petiverunt ab Iove, ut aut homines daret aut eos pari calamitate adficeret.

It's the final "calamitate" that's giving me the problem. I think. So far I've gotten something like:

"Because they could not live in solitude, they begged Jove so that he either gave [them] people or gave them the power to produce from the disaster."

How far off am I?

-Yvonne[/quote]
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Postby phil » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:12 am

I think pari might be from par, paris, the adjective (like/equal), rather than from pario. If so, then pari is singular ablative and can agree with calamitate. Then pari calamitate could mean by an equal misfortune, which is ablative of means. Thus, they are asking Jove to effect or weaken eos (whoever they are) by means of a similar disaster.
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Postby Tom L. » Tue Feb 24, 2004 2:56 pm

Yvonne,

Adficio used with the accusative (eos) and the ablative (pari calamitate) means treating or punishing someone (acc) with something (abl.).

Thus the way I would translate your sentence is:

Since they could not live in such solitude, they begged Jove that he would either give them people or afflict them [whoever they are] with a similar misfortune.
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Postby Yvonne » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:49 pm

The "eos" refers back to the people who can't live alone. This is the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Jove has killed off all the other people except them so there are no other people in existence at this point in the story.

They are asking Jove to do one of two things. Either bring people back or this "pari calamitate" option. From what you guys have said, it sounds like the best way to understand this second option is that if D & P can't have other people to live with, they'd like Jove to destroy them the way he did all the other people.

That makes more sense to me than what I had. Thanks!

-Yvonne
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Postby phil » Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:16 pm

Yvonne wrote:The "eos" refers back to the people who can't live alone.

I don't understand how eos can refer to them. They are the subject of the sentence, so I think that you would need to use se, the reflexive pronoun. And yet:
Jove has killed off all the other people except them so there are no other people in existence at this point in the story.

So who can eos be? Hopefully someone can help me on that one?
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Postby benissimus » Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:51 pm

As we have discussed in some recent threads, the reflexive pronouns can be quite vague. Here, if we were to use se instead of eos, it would probably be referring back to "Jove", and that is not the intended effect.

I agree with Yvonne on this. A&G has an interesting section on this as well that might clarify some of this ambiguity.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Tom L. » Wed Feb 25, 2004 9:50 pm

I agree with Benissimus (and in turn with Yvonne).

The subject of the ut clause is Jupiter - thus "se" in this case would mean that the two heros are petitioning the deity to inflict punishment on himself.

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