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Please help me with this passage

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Please help me with this passage

Postby ejpoche » Fri May 27, 2005 9:38 pm

I am currently working with two separate Latin texts. The first is Clyde Pharr's Aeneid Books I-VI, and the second is "Aeneas to Augustus" by Mason Hammond and Anne Amory. I am currently having trouble with the 8th story in "Aeneas to Augustus". Any help would be greatly appreciated.

"Victores Galli urbem intraverunt, ubi nobilissimos senum in sellis curulibus et honorum insignibus primo ut deos venerati sunt; deinde ut homines despicientes interfecerunt."

"The Gaulic Conquerors entered the city, where first they venerated the nobilest old men on folding seats and in insignia of office as gods; then (later on) they murdered (them) as despising humans."

I am aware that ut can be translated as as with the indicative; however I still feel that something is wrong with the way I translated it above. The reference notes for this story indicate that ut is connected with deos just as it is later connected with homines. I am unfamiliar with ut being connected with a noun in any sort of way.

Another unrelated question is in regards to translating the word iuventus. There is a reference note which indicates that iuventus is a feminine singular abstract form of iuvenes. I'm not sure what this means. Should Iuventus be translated as young woman?
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Postby mraig » Fri May 27, 2005 10:44 pm

My take: 'ut' should be attached just to 'homines', just as it is attached just to 'deos' in the first part.

So it would be something like this: "They venerated the old men like gods; then, despising them, they (the Gauls) murdered them (the old men) like humans (still the old men)."

The exact meaning is sort of difficult to capture in a one to one English translation. But the sense is - on the one hand, they honored the old-men-as-gods; on the other, they killed the old-men-as-humans. 'Ut' in each case shows the aspect in which the old men were seen - whether 'as gods' (because they are being worshiped) or 'as men' (because they are mortal, and able to be killed).

Hopefully that is a clear enough explanation? I think where you went wrong in your translation is in taking 'despicientes' as accusative; if my interpretation is correct, it is nominative, and agrees with the subject of 'interfecerunt'.

As for your second question, the point is that the grammatical gender of 'iuventus' is feminine, and that it is technically an abstract noun meaning 'youth', i.e. 'the time of life when one is young'. However, this abstract nound can also have the meaning of 'young people.' The word 'youth' in English has the a similar range of meaning: it can be an abstract noun (as in the sentence 'In my youth, I was a great athlete.'), or it can be used in a concrete sense ('That youth is a great athlete.')

So, when you see 'iuventus', sometimes it means "time of life when one is young" and sometimes it means 'young people'.
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Postby ejpoche » Sat May 28, 2005 7:42 am

Thank you mraig. I appreciate your help. Vale.
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Postby adz000 » Sat May 28, 2005 4:25 pm

I agree with you about the ut. And I wanted to add that you're right to feel some discomfort with ut and the indicative, especially when reading real Latin, rather than workbook fodder. The particle is capable of great and often pointed subtlety. I'm paraphrasing a note from a Latin prose composition handbook that I found useful (Bradley's Arnold, p. 492), though it shouldn't be taken as exhaustive. Distinguish 5 usages of ut and the indicative.

    (i) To mark a contrast with the main sentence: as, while, one fact is true, so on the other hand. This is nearly concessive: Ut fortasse honestum est, sic parum utile.
    (ii) Restrictive. As a virtual conditional: Ita vivam ut te amo "May I live so far only as I love you"
    (iii) To make a general remark in accordance with a particular fact: Tum rex, ut erat natura benignus, omnibus veniam dedit. "The king, in accordance with his nature,..."
    (iv) Parenthetic: ut fit "as often happens, ut aiunt. But in Latin ut credo, ut arbitror, ut videtus are rarer than in English and usually apologetic.
    (v) To express the two ideas: "as you would expect"(magnus pavor, ut in re improvisa, fuit); and "so far as could be expected" / "considering" (satis intrepide, ut in re improvisa, se gessit). In both cases the verb is often omitted.

    Hope this helps with future studies.
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