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"To his death in 1675"

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"To his death in 1675"

Postby autophile » Thu May 31, 2012 6:23 pm

Salvete, discipuli!

I'm having a little trouble with this sentence: "He ruled from 1665 until his death in 1675." I can handle everything except "in 1675": Ab anno 1665 usque ad mortem duxit.

My problem is, if I just add anno 1675, it would mean He ruled in 1675, from 1665 until his death, which makes no sense.

Is apposition the best way to handle this? Ab anno 1665 usque ad mortem annum 1675 duxit?

Gratias tibi ago.

--Rob
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Thu May 31, 2012 8:32 pm

autophile wrote:My problem is, if I just add anno 1675, it would mean He ruled in 1675, from 1665 until his death, which makes no sense.

It does to me. You're mistranslating into English.// Intellegibile mihi est. Perperàm in anglicum vertis.
ab anno x usque ad mortem anno x duxit = what you want // quod quaeris
"He ruled from 1665 until his death in 1675."
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby cb » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:51 pm

hi, I can't give you an answer to your query (the reason's at end of this post) but here's the starting point of another way to approach your question:

firstly, to take a step back, a lot of the composition books say that you shouldn't be trying to translate the words but to write the sense in latin.

so, thinking just about the sense, the bit of your phrase that you are struggling with contains (1) a fixed year (the year he died) and (2) an "until" phrase (until his death).

the next step for me is to think about each of these concepts (not about the words, but about the concepts – i.e. expressing a fixed year, expressing "until") and try to remember from your own reading how you have seen them expressed by latin writers whose style you are trying to reflect.

firstly the fixed year. When I think of how e.g. caesar and cicero refer to a fixed year, the first thing i remember is how they often refer to a consular year in the ablative, e.g. cicero pro archia 5: ROMAM VENIT MARIO CONSVLE ET CATVLO, Caesar BC book 1 section 2: IS, M. MESSALA M. PISONE CONSVLIBUS, REGNI CVPIDITATE INDVCTVS…

so for the fixed year, follow that approach – put the year in the ablative. (you see how this gets you to a different place than your proposed apposition in the accusative, which could lead to confusion as possibly the accusative of duration…)

the other concept to reflect is the "until" bit. just thinking about the sense – and one way to start this is to think of a verb that generally expresses the idea – "until his death" means generally until he died (changing the noun to a verb). so we need to think of how caesar and cicero said generally "until" + a verb. one way is DVM + subjunctive - see:

- woodcock's a new latin syntax, s222 on pg 181: http://books.google.fr/books?id=WmT6mS5 ... &q&f=false

- the paragraph of the LS article on DVM that begins "In immediate succession": http://archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/cgi-b ... lter=CUTF8

NB now that we have separate DVM clausewith the verb for "died" embeded in it, there's no confusion that the ablative expression ANNO modifies the verb for "ruled" (which i understand was your concern with ANNO in your original post above).

this would give something like: IS, AB ANNO 1665 DVM ANNO 1675 SIT MORTVVS, REGNAVIT.

this isn't enough though - just writing a latin sentence that appears to meet the rules for grammar, syntax, idiom etc. isn't enough - the final and most time consuming step isto read through your chosen model authors and see if you can find them using similar ways of expressing themselves - if not, perhaps there's a completely different way that latin writers wrote the idea, which you need to investigate - this means you've just learnt something important from composition.

for me the only purpose of composition is to bring you closer to the classical texts, and so this final step, plus the earlier step above of trying to remember how authors express certain concepts, are the most valuable steps of composition – the actual output in latin or grk that i produce is of no value, it's the process of linking my thoughts back to what i have read that makes composition valuable for me.

on this point (the act of composition involving lots of thought about the link between your writing and the classical models) i really like the idea i once read, that the papal secretary pietro bembo (lived 1400s to 1500s) when writing latin, kept 40 portfolios - he started by writing his draft latin composition on a piece of paper and put it in the first portfolio. then later he'd take it out, think about whether it closely followed his models or not (and if not, he'd correct it) and then put it into the second portfolio, and so on. so when the paper finally emerged from the last of the 40 portfolios, he has thought through lots of times how closely his composition reflected how the ancient authors wrote – i.e. the bulk of his time composing was not spent in the writing bit but thinking about the ancient writers and whether his compositions followed their example.

the reason i said above that i can't properly answer your query however is that i unfortunately don't currently have time to do this last step for you, i.e. read the authors in a close way to find similar expressions to the e.g. latin sentence that i drafted above – so i wouldn't trust the sentence that i drafted above, but it could start as a base for investigating further in classical texts to see if something like it could work.

cheers, chad
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby autophile » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:08 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the help! This reply feels rather inadequate to your response, but I do really appreciate it.
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:42 pm

But there is absolutely nothing ambiguous about "Ab anno 1665 usque ad mortem anno 1675 duxit". Autoclave ties himself in a knot imagining it would mean "He ruled in 1675, from 1665 until his death". It is like imaging in English "From 1675 until his death in 1675 he ruled" would also mean "In 1675 he ruled, from 1675 until his death."

Adusquè autem clarum non ambiguum est hoc: "Ab anno 1665 usque ad mortem anno 1675 duxit." In nodum se colligit autophile qui aliter ducat. Clarum latinè nisi idem similiter anglicè construat, quod dubito.
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby autophile » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:14 pm

My problem is not that I thought it ambiguous, but incorrect. I thought that an ablative (anno 1675) could not be used to modify a noun (mortem).

Consider: Autumno ad mortem respondi. In autumn, I responded to his death.

But: Ad mortem autumno respondi. In autumn, I responded to his death.

There's some difference in emphasis in there, but the semantics are the same: At some time in autumn, I responded to his death, which came at some other unspecified time. None of these means that I responded to his death which happened in autumn.

Perhaps I would have better said that I thought Ab anno 1665 usque ad mortem anno 1675 duxit meant In 1675, he ruled from 1665 until his death, which is syntactic, but semantically makes no sense.
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby cb » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:18 pm

hi adrian, can you please explain why you believe that the ANNO ablative phrase of time in the formulation in your post unambiguously modifies the noun MORTEM and not the verb? i would naturally take the ablative phrase of time with the verb, not the noun. thanks, chad
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby Sceptra Tenens » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:08 pm

autophile wrote:I thought that an ablative (anno 1675) could not be used to modify a noun (mortem).
cb wrote:hi adrian, can you please explain why you believe that the ANNO ablative phrase of time in the formulation in your post unambiguously modifies the noun MORTEM and not the verb? i would naturally take the ablative phrase of time with the verb, not the noun. thanks, chad


They can: P. Murena mediocri ingenio sed magno studio rerum veterum, litterarum et studiosus et non imperitus, multae industriae et magni laboris fuit. That is a rather different case, though.

I see this anno 1675 as an abbreviation of something like quae anno 1675 facta est. I can't say from experience whether a bare anno (or even my supposed expansion of it) has precedence or not, but it makes sense to me at least.
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:33 am

I have no pretensions to mastery of latin so I would be happy to learn of a rule that an ablative cannot modify a noun but I know that ablatives can modify nouns in Latin, as in "corio sacculus est sacculus scorteus" ("a leather purse is a purse made of leather")

Me linguâ latinâ potitus esse non mentior, quâ mihi placeat talem regulam invenire, scilicet non capax est ablativus casus nominibus servire. Contrarium autem latinè jam intellego cum "corio sacculus est sacculus scorteus"
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:33 am

Bis eadem epistula perperàm missa est.
Posted twice by mistake.

What I said is similar to Sceptra Tenens' comment about "facta est", but without the notion of abbreviation.
Simile eius quod dixit Sceptra Tenens de "facta est" (separatim abbreviationis notio) est id quod dixi.
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby autophile » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:53 am

adrianus wrote:I have no pretensions to mastery of latin so I would be happy to learn of a rule that an ablative cannot modify a noun but I know that ablatives can modify nouns in Latin, as in "corio sacculus est sacculus scorteus" ("a leather purse is a purse made of leather")


Adriane, what is the source of that quote? I couldn't find it.
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:35 am

I'm not quoting. I'm just saying that you have ablative of material without a preposition, or of quality, or of specification attachable to nouns or adjectives.
Non cito. Ita modo dico: capax est ablativus casus nomini servire.

If you still want an alternative for the above, can you not say "usque ad annum mortis 1675"?
Si alternatum jam quaeris, nonnè sufficit hoc, "usque ad annum mortis 1675"?
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby cb » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:27 am

thanks adrian but this wasn't my question - the point i'd appreciate your input on is why you said there's no ambiguity that an ablative of time is to be construed with a noun in the sentence and not (as autophile was concerned about in the original post) with the verb.

this is quite different to asking whether an ablative of e.g. quality can modify a noun in latin, which it can, but that's a separate point.

many thanks, chad
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Re: "To his death in 1675"

Postby adrianus » Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:52 am

I'm just unaware of such a grammatical rule, as I said. Please tell me who says it or writes of it.
Modo ignoro talem grammaticae regulam, ut dixi. Te amabo, quis sic dicit vel tractat?

These you say would be grammatical errors?
Soloecismi haec, dicis?

"Alter ille Domhnall, Sancti Patricii successor, abbas erat Ard Macha ab anno 1091 usque ad mortem anno 1105."http://lxoa.wordpress.com/2011/06/25/patrician-year-1961-eamon-de-valeras-address-to-pope-john-xxiii/

"Eminentissimi Domini D. Joannis Bona, S. Romanae Ecclesiae titulo S. Bernardi ad Thermas Cardinalis Presbyteri, ordinis Cisterciensis, Opera omnia...Editio nova aucta opusculo posthumo De praeparatione ad mortem, anno MDCCXXXI...Apud Joannem Baptistam Verdussen, 1739" http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Eminentissimi_Domini_D_Joannis_Bona_S_Ro.html?id=zvjdtgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y

"Christiana fortitudine infirmitatem sustentavit quae eam ad mortem die 11 mensis Novembris anno 1855 duxit." (http://www.vatican.va/archive/aas/documents/2006/luglio%202006.pdf, p.557)
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: "To his death in 1675"

Postby Sceptra Tenens » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:18 pm

It may be worth noting that this ambiguity actually exists in the English, even in this very phrase.

"He ruled from 1665 until his death in 1675."

This could theoretically be taken to mean "In 1675, he ruled from 1665 until his death". Practically, though, this could only be an issue for the least skilled of all foreign speakers.
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