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Cic. ad Att. VII.ii.1

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Cic. ad Att. VII.ii.1

Postby timeodanaos » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:47 pm

Brundisium venimus vii Kal. Dec. usi tua felicitate navigandi; ita belle nobis "flavit ab Epiro lenissimus Onchesmites" (hunc σπονδειάζοντα si cui uoles τῶν νεωτέρων pro tuo uendito).

We arrived in Brundisium on the 25. of November "having had good use of your felicitous navigation" .... It's pretty clear from the context that Atticus is nowhere near Cicero at the time - for one, he's receiving a letter from him, secondly, in the next paragraph we learn that A. has fallen ill - but what is usi tua felicitate navigandi then supposed to mean?

I can think of three reasons:

(1) Atticus is normally lucky with the weather when travelling

(2) Since, I seem to recall, he owned vast tracts of land in Epirus, he must have sailed from Onchesmus to Brundisium more than once, and has perhaps helped Cicero in some way with the transportation?

(3) Atticus sent his "best of luck" before Cicero set sail, so Cicero is thanking him for divine protection.


I haven't time to read the letters in context, I'm just interested in discussing the whole "neoterics" question, but now I stubbed my toe at this "usi tua felicitate".

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Cic. ad Att. VII.ii.1

Postby adrianus » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:56 pm

timeodanaos wrote:Brundisium venimus vii Kal. Dec. usi tua felicitate navigandi...but what is usi tua felicitate navigandi then supposed to mean?
...(1) Atticus is normally lucky with the weather when travelling

Ut dicis, aut primum aut tertium, As you say, 1 or 3, "with your good luck in[/of] making[/enjoying] the crossing"
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: Cic. ad Att. VII.ii.1

Postby timeodanaos » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:47 pm

Thanks!

"We were as lucky as you are wont to", in other words?
I guess what troubles me is that when I tried to translate the phrase into my native Danish - starting off with the same notion - it became about as long as the rest of the paragraph and had very little to do with the original Latin syntactically (or in matters of word choice), and after years of studies, I haven't been able to reconcile with that fact.

Well, the wind was favourable, favourable enough for Cicero to make up a funny parody of some modern poetry - a parody that I think is as perfect as can be - and prompted him to use a fashionable Greek word that's had classicists crawling on their knees ever since because the poet whose work we know that Cicero's parody resembles was Catullus, and since (and probably forever) he has been and will be a 'neoteric'. In Danish high schools we are also taught that Horace is epicurean and read bits of odes that look a little bit epicurean, disregarding anything that doesn't fit.
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