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The Curse of Atreus

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The Curse of Atreus

Postby Philosophia » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:07 am

Hey everyone I'm new to the forums, but I'm really excited that I've found them. I'm trying to learn Latin on my own and have to say I find it quite challenging. I really have issues translating the complex sentences and more of the longer ones. I'm having a lot of trouble with this story, I can figure out what it says and get the general idea, but it doesn't feel correct. This one part I'm having a big issue with.

"Sum plenus irae! Quare filios parvos mei fratris necabo secaboque. Tum membra coquam et thyestae cenam dabo." My translation was "I am full of anger. Wherefore (this is the part I'm having the issue) I kill my brother's little son and cut him up. Then I will cook the limbs and give (another issue) my brother it for dinner."

I think one of my issues is that I don't have all of the declensions memorized as I've been bogged down with school, but now that it's summer I've been doing it more frequently because of more free time. Thank you for the help in advanced.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby radagasty » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:58 pm

Philosophia wrote:"Sum plenus irae! Quare filios parvos mei fratris necabo secaboque. Tum membra coquam et thyestae cenam dabo." My translation was "I am full of anger. Wherefore (this is the part I'm having the issue) I kill my brother's little son and cut him up. Then I will cook the limbs and give (another issue) my brother it for dinner."

Although you have said where they are, you haven't really said what the issues are specifically that you're having.

Just by way of observation, though, filios parvos is plural, and necabo secaboque are in the future tense.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby Philosophia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:50 am

The main issue I have is it just didn't make sense to me. I don't really know the proper way to translate as I've been doing this on my own and kind of just went with what worked. My way of translating the sentence "Quare filios parvos mei fratris necabo secaboque." is just defining each word with their declension's meaning and then rearrange the words into a comprehensible sentence. So my method would be: First, "Wherefore sons small my brother I shall kill and I shall cut up". Based on the words alone I would translate it as Wherefore I shall kill and cut up my brother's small sons, however this doesn't make sense as there's no genitive case showing ownership.

I apologize for being a bit vague and hope this clears somethings up. I think the main thing I'm really asking is what's the proper way to translate, and what does this sentence mean and how did you arrive at that. I do fine with just plain sentences from Wheelock's, but I really struggle with some of the more odd ones. Thank you for taking the time to answer, it's much appreciated.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby radagasty » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:25 am

Philosophia wrote:"Wherefore sons small my brother I shall kill and I shall cut up". Based on the words alone I would translate it as Wherefore I shall kill and cut up my brother's small sons, however this doesn't make sense as there's no genitive case showing ownership.

Your translation is basically correct. Mei fratris is your genitive.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby Philosophia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:13 pm

But who do the small sons belong to? I get that it was my brother, but then there was no genitive for the small children. Is fratris in a genitive form of a declension not yet introuduced by Wheelock's? Sorry if I'm not making much sense I just really would like to get this correct.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby radagasty » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:32 pm

Philosophia wrote:Is fratris in a genitive form of a declension not yet introuduced by Wheelock's?

Fratris is the genitive singular of frater, a noun of the third declension. It is almost certainly listed somewhere in Wheelock's. You did mention earlier that you don't have all the declensions memorised.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby Iacobus de Indianius » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:32 pm

radagasty wrote:
Philosophia wrote:Is fratris in a genitive form of a declension not yet introuduced by Wheelock's?

Fratris is the genitive singular of frater, a noun of the third declension. It is almost certainly listed somewhere in Wheelock's. You did mention earlier that you don't have all the declensions memorised.


Yeah it's in Wheelock's, I believe it's even introduced in the first half of the book. Did you just not get that far Philosophia? I'm not an expert, but I would suggest that you memorize all the paradigms and conjugations, and learn all the basic grammar (i.e. complete Wheelock's) before you attempt translating other texts. It's not the most exciting thing to do, but essential to your long-term success with Latin.

If you're not familiar with the curse of Atreus, it might help read up a little on it. The story is pretty wild, and I might second guess myself without any context just given the content.

Finally, I think your translation strategy is pretty much the standard. Make sense of the Latin and then present it in understandable English. I wouldn't waste a lot of time polishing up a translation however. If your goal is to learn Latin, just try to understand the meaning and keep reading.
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Re: The Curse of Atreus

Postby Philosophia » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:13 am

I'm only starting and this is from the companion book. I'm on chapter six in the seventh edition and that's the story for chapter six in the thirty eight Latin stories book. Do you recommend that I don't use the thirty eight Latin stories book? I know most of the paradigms and I've been looking over them daily, but instead of just writing them over and over again I've been trying to learn them through use.


I just wanted to add that the 3rd declension isn't introduced at the point I'm at yet.
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