Textkit Logo

Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Latin after CDLXXVI

Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby hlawson38 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:56 am

Context: Folly derides the trivial controversies among the Grammarians. For actual text, search "facit dictionem" , here:

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/erasmus/moriae.shtml
Perinde quasi res sit bello quoque vindicanda, si quis coniunctionem facit dictionem ad adverbiorum ius pertinentem.


Translation: Just as if the matter should be settled by war, if anybody classifies [facit] a word [dictionem] a conjunction [ properly ] belonging to the class [ius] of the adverbs.

This translation consists of wild guesses.
hlawson38
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:38 am

Re: Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Just as if the matter should be settled by war, if anybody classifies [facit] a word [dictionem] a conjunction [ properly ] belonging to the class [ius] of the adverbs.

Hi "h" (hlawsom38). It seems to me you understand the sentence perfectly. Are you doubting your understanding of the sentence, or only the elegance ( :D ) or precision of your translation?

Erasmus/Folly has just said his sexagenarian acquaintance** apparently won't be happy (even now, after all these years), donec certo statuat, quomodo distinguendae sint octo partes orationis, quod hactenus nemo Graecorum aut Latinorum ad plenum praestare valuit. Two of those eight Donatian parts of speech*** are the coniunctio and the adverbium, and it seems (foolishly) like it's a matter so serious as needs be decided by war, should someone treat/classify/label a conjunction as an adverb. (I think ad adverbiorum ius pertinentem is a bit of Erasmian "copia," with ius evoking the rules or "laws" governing the adverb. Your translation 'class' I think is just fine.)

**AMD edition identifies this πολυτεχνότατος as probably Thomas Linacre, physician to Henry VIII.
***As Erasmus/Folly goes on to say, printed grammars were enormously popular at that time, and indeed the first big seller from Gutenberg's machine a mere half century earlier was Donatus' Ars Grammatica.
RandyGibbons
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:27 pm

I meant to ask: Do you think Erasmus would have been a Textkit Enthusiast?
RandyGibbons
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby hlawson38 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:02 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Just as if the matter should be settled by war, if anybody classifies [facit] a word [dictionem] a conjunction [ properly ] belonging to the class [ius] of the adverbs.

Hi "h" (hlawsom38). It seems to me you understand the sentence perfectly. Are you doubting your understanding of the sentence, or only the elegance ( :D ) or precision of your translation?


Many thanks Randy for that very helpful commentary.

In reply, I'll break the quotation down:

Perinde quasi res sit bello quoque vindicanda, [I had no trouble with this]

si quis [if anybody, no problem here]

coniunctionem facit dictionem ad adverbiorum ius pertinentem.

dictionem: I was unprepared for this to mean "word", and in first reading Lewis and Short on dictio, I overlooked that meaning. So "word" was a guess, based on my intuition what the sentence must mean, but not on any knowledge of Latin. After your reply, I went through the L&S dictio entry again, and this time I saw the "word" definition.

ius: the literal meaning "the law of adverbs" did not mean much to me. I've read nothing in Latin about grammar. But again, since parsing is classifying words according to the definitions of the parts of speech, it seemed to me that jus here must mean something like "properly defined class".

Finally, in this clause of seven words, four are accusative. Getting them linked up puzzled me. The whole thing left me unsure I had the clause linked up correctly in Latin.

But I think I see it now: coninunctionem and dictionem are double accusative objects of facit. In turn the present participle pertinentem modifies dictionem, and has as its complement ad . . . ius.

But this came after reading your helpful reply. Applying the rules of grammar is not an end in itself, as you have said in other posts. But it helps me feel more confident that I understood the sentence properly.
hlawson38
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:38 am

Re: Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:27 pm

dictionem: I was unprepared for this to mean "word", and in first reading Lewis and Short on dictio, I overlooked that meaning. So "word" was a guess, based on my intuition what the sentence must mean, but not on any knowledge of Latin.

You did here just what I observe experienced L2 readers learn to do, viz., think about what the sentence must mean, and let that define the word. YOU write the dictionary!

in this clause of seven words, four are accusative. Getting them linked up puzzled me.

Agreed; I too had to think about it. When I did, context again made the meaning clear to me. Grammatically, yes, coniunctionem is a second, predicate accusative object of facio (Allen and Greenough, 393). I think the lack of an indefinite article in the Latin idiom (which you supplied in your translation) sometimes makes the double accusative a little tricky at first. (Notice the use of the indefinite article, prepositional phrase, etc. to translate the second object into English, in the examples in Allen and Greenough.)

Lesson for me is to do exactly what you do: Try to figure out what the vocabulary and constructions must mean in context (when you're lucky enough to have context), then, if you wish, seek confirmation in the dictionary and the grammar book. (Not that it always works out that cleanly!)
RandyGibbons
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Praise of Folly, facit dictionem

Postby hlawson38 » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks very much, Randy. Your observations are very helpful.

Hugh
hlawson38
Textkit Enthusiast
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:38 am


Return to Medieval and Neo-Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests