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Propertius - Elegies

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Propertius - Elegies

Postby Turpissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:41 pm

The poet talks about the misfortune of having been ensnared by his mistress Cynthia. Much of the poem is quite easy. However, there is a line at the end, with which I have some trouble. It runs thus -

cum tamen adversos cogor habere deos

I translate this as "While I am forced to consider the Gods to be hostile" (there is I think an elision of esse). My translation sees it differently, saying it means "while I am compelled to endure the frown of heaven." I think "adversos" could be translated frown ("unfavourable things"?), but I don't see how "deos" fits in.

Does anyone have any ideas? You would have my eternal gratitude if this could be resolved.
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:25 pm

I read 'while I am forced to have unfavourable gods' but that's probably wrong in context.
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Postby Turpissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:47 pm

I think one of the most frustrating things about latin is that words can have several meanings. Habeo means -

have, hold, keep, possess
know
(with inf.) to be in a position to
regard, consider
(action) carry out, make.

Weil, mein lieber Bischof, du nur BLD gelesen hast, du wirst nicht wissen, dass habeo kann auch "sich ueberlegen" bedeuten.

It's been ages since I've done German though.

And who says classicists are a buch of pretentious loons who desire to shut out the uneducated by making uncalled-for references to languages they can be sure few other people can understand?
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Postby Turpissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:08 pm

And another thing...

ille etiam Hylaei percussus vulnere rami
saucius Arcadiis rupibus ingemuit

The pentameter contains an ablative of place where, which is tricky because it is not found in prose. However, I am most confused by the hexameter.

I think it's fairly safe to say we should supply est with percussus.
So we have "he was also struck..."

But why is the phrase "rami Hylaei" in the genitive?

And why is vulnere, which I imagine is a part of vulnus, in the ablative?
One can't be struck by a wound, and struck with respect to a wound makes no sense.

The sense is clear (he was also struck and wounded by the club of Hylaeus) but the syntax makes no sense to me whatever.

I do feel that the day when I can understand Latin verse is retreating into the far distance, but if any of you are able to help, I thank you in advance
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Postby Skylax » Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:22 pm

Episcopus wrote:I read 'while I am forced to have unfavourable gods' but that's probably wrong in context.


I think you are right, o Episcope.
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Postby Skylax » Fri Aug 06, 2004 6:01 pm

Turpissimus wrote:But why is the phrase "rami Hylaei" in the genitive?


I think it is sort of subjective genitive (<ramus vulneravit "the club wounded") Like amor uxoris ("love of a wife" < uxor amat "the wife loves")

And why is vulnere, which I imagine is a part of vulnus, in the ablative?
One can't be struck by a wound, and struck with respect to a wound makes no sense.


Well this is poetry... but it is also attested elsewhere, though unfrequently. It is "struck by means of a wound", as if the wound itself was the object that wounds.
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Postby Turpissimus » Fri Aug 06, 2004 8:38 pm

Thank you Skylax. I do appreciate your taking time to review my difficulties.

Your knowledge of the Latin language humbles me and impels me to take more care of my translations.

Hmmm....struck with respect to the wound of a club.....
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Aug 07, 2004 1:24 pm

Turpissimus wrote:Weil, mein lieber Bischof, du nur BLD gelesen hast, du wirst nicht wissen, dass habeo kann auch "sich ueberlegen" bedeuten.


Oi. Do not insult me especially in German especially BLD. You should have some respect. You thought I was wrong. Evidently your German sucks almost so much as your Latin that you unintentionally state that I will not know any other meanings of habeo in such an impolite manner. You should realise that Latin is a language also with natural idioms. What you should not be doing is listing different meanings of a certain verb but keeping an open mind for new meanings that make sense and read naturally. That's how I read that sentence, just once through, same word order. Often I am wrong out of context, I was aware of habere having different meanings which easily could have been the case.

You do not stroll in here thinking yourself to be superior for some reason. For I do not read classical authors? Because I do not work through texts like you? Because I decide to write instead of reading? Who are you? Some classics fanatic? You are an absolute loser. You are the classic example of what Latin should not be. Yay let's decipher the text like a machine. What you are losing here is the actual reading thereof. Do not use 'only' and 'BLD' in the same sentence. I hope that you enjoy your couplets with whiteoctave though you are but the browning on his Tacitus Annals I.

In subordinate clauses (daß in this case) the modal is thrown to the end.
Do you see the rhythm: "daß ... ...-en kann". No I did not think that you had any Sprachgefuhl either.

:evil: :evil: :evil:
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Postby Turpissimus » Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:17 pm

I do apologize Episcopus. I should learn some humility. And I have behaved like an arrogant fool. Any form of public humiliation you desire from me, assuming it is within my limited skills to execute, I shall carry out. I am sorry.
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