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Is this right?

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Is this right?

Postby tomato2 » Sat Jun 05, 2004 2:49 am

I'm translating from Pliny, Epistulae 9.24 (in Wheelock, page 352) and am having quite a bit of difficulty. Here's a bit of Pliny -
Bene fecisti quod libertum aliquando tibi carum reducentidbus epistulis meis in donum in animum recepisti.
And this is what I think it says:
thank you, Beloved, for the freedman who brought back my letters to youin the house of a rational soul.

thanks for any help you can give - I'm really stumped on this. :)
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Re: Is this right?

Postby benissimus » Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:32 am

Bene fecisti you have done well quod that reducentibus epistulis meis with my letters returning (him) in domum, in animum recepisti you have accepted into your home, into your heart libertum aliquando tibi carum the freedman once dear to you

And this is what I think it says:
thank you, Beloved, for the freedman who brought back my letters to youin the house of a rational soul.

There is no gratias ago, so "thank you" is pretty much out of the question.

"Beloved" I assume you got from carum, but if carum were indeed a vocative, then it would be a neuter and not a person. It is much more likely that it is an accusative and direct object.

"Freedman" libertum is also in accusative, and must be matching carum. The note also says that libertum is the object of both verbs.

"Brought back" would be imperfect or perfect tense (reduxit / reducebat, possibly an infinitive reducere/reduxisse). Reducentibus is is in reality a present participle in the ablative, I think an ablative absolute. It matches with epistulis meis.


I think you are reading too assumptively. I believe you will have more success if you analyze the grammar of the sentence before trying to translate it, at least until you are able to read something this advanced without doing so. Pliny is very advanced, so I would definitely not recommend it unless you have a lot of vigor and patience, and most importantly experience. A simpler author might be Catullus or Martial, but the important thing is your interest.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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