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de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

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de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

Postby pmda » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:48 pm

...7) Cornēlius: “Ego memoriā teneō versūs Ovidiī de puellā quae poētam industrium prohibēbat bellum Trōianum canere et fātum rēgis Priamī:

Saepe meae "Tandem" dīxī "discēde!" puellae

[Often I say to my girl 'Finally, Go!']

- in gremiō sēdit prōtinus illa meō!

[In my lap she immediately sits/]

Saepe "Pudet" dīxī. Lacrimīs vix illa retentīs

['For shame' I always say. She barely holding back her

tears]

"Me miseram! Iam tē" dīxit "amāre pudet?"

["I am miserable" she says "Already love shames you?"]


Implicuitque suōs circum mea colla lacertōs

[And encircling her arms around my neck]


et, quae mē perdunt, ōscula mīlle dedit!

[and she who destroys me, gave me a thousand kisses]


Vincor, et ingenium sūmptīs revocātur ab armīs,

[I am vanquashed and my mind is called away from arms]


rēsque domī gestās et mea bella canō."

[you do domestic things and I sing of my loves]

[Ovidius: Amōrēs II.18.]

What intrigues me about this is the last line. Orberg offers 'loves' as a (poetic?) translation for bella. And I thought that this might be a pun with war / where he conflates the two. But here http://www.sacred- texts.com/cla/ovid/lboo/lboo40.htm it is translated as

'The things I sing are deeds performed within four walls,
my private wars',

then there's Dryden's translation (very loose and poetic I'm sure) which is: 'I'm conquer'd, and renounce the glorious train Of arms, and war, to sing of love again:.'

'Mea bella' refers either to 'loves' or war... Can it refer to both...??!!
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Re: de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

Postby timeodanaos » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:42 pm

In elegiac poetry (as well as other genres, but this is the prime example), the lover is often likened to or indeed portrayed as a soldier. One of the most classic examples is Ovid's Amores I,9:

militat omnis amans et habet sua castra Cupido
Attice, crede mihi! militat omnis amans

(every lover is a soldier, and Cupid has his camps / Atticus, you must believe me, all lovers are soldiers!)

This is most likely a reaction to the otherwise masculine and belligerent 'official' poetry of Rome, Ennius, Naevius and others who have not survived the test of time. All in all the Roman culture held masculine virtue as the highest goal, and the 'elegist-bohemians' must have thought their likening to war and battle to be very provocative and funny. Horace has lots of satirical references to the whimsical elegists, e.g. carmen I.6.17-19:

Nos convivia, nos proelia virginum
sectis in iuvenes unguibus acrium
cantamus ...

(we sing of parties, we sing of the battles of maidens / who are fierce with their nails cut sharp against youths)


To actually answer: bellum always means war at the topmost semantic level. In this particular genre, however, the frequency of the metaphor justifies Ørberg's translation, if, that is, we can accept the loss of the almost genre-defining love=battle metaphor.

Hope this helps a bit.
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Re: de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

Postby pmda » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:12 pm

Thanks timeodanaos
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Re: de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

Postby pmda » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:14 pm

rēsque domī gestās et mea bella canō.

..error on my part. I think the translation would best be:

Household things are done and I sing about my love.
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Re: de Cap XXXIV (LLPSI: Familia Romana) Cont'd

Postby timeodanaos » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:18 pm

pmda wrote:rēsque domī gestās et mea bella canō.

..error on my part. I think the translation would best be:

Household things are done and I sing about my love.

Res gestae, you should notice, is also a semi-technical term for history, especially warfare. But these are the exploits not of generals in far away lands, but of the millionaire playboy in his bedroom.
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