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Ennius

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Ennius

Postby Moerus » Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:36 pm

I'm sure you all know Ennius, the Latin poet.
His Annales only came to us by fragments. So we can find a fragment of Ennius in Cicero, de divinatione I, 48.

I found a sentence and I understand the Latin, but I have difficulties to translate this in proper Dutch, cause the English translation is a bit odd to me.

Exin candida se radiis dedit icta foras lux.

icta radiis (I found this in a commentary and also in Lewis - Short) is translated by 'struck with rays / beams'.

I can not imagine that light is struck with rays, that it is beaten or hit.
How do we have to understand this English 'struck with' or the Latin 'icta'.
I know icta means struck with, but this makes no sense to me, does it make sense to you?

Thank you,

Moerus.
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Postby Ulpianus » Sat Feb 07, 2004 7:23 pm

It's puzzling. The trouble seems to be the passive: if the light was striking with its rays, then no problem. But the whole thought seems oddly reflexive to me anyway, unless I am missing the point. Perhaps that reflexive sense is being continued. Is the passive being used in a sort of middle sense (which it can sometimes have) matching the reflexive use of dedit: the whole process is as it were "internal to the light"?

I think I'd just translate the sense, and certainly not preserve the passive: perhaps a present participle in English?
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Postby Moerus » Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:20 pm

Ok thank you. But if someone knows a translation that follows the Latn a little more?

Thank you,

Philippus
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Postby Ulpianus » Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:24 pm

Hmm. Well, sorry I wasn't more helpful on the translation.

Another thought occurred to me reading the latest quotation in the Ovid thread. "Lux" is there day which OLD confirms as a possible poetic meaning. Does it help if you take it that way:

"Then the bright day, struck with rays, spreads itself abroad."

("Spreads" here perhaps rather loose for "dedit", but I take the sense as "causes itself to be placed", and "spreads" seems more natural in English. You could use "puts itself" if you thought "spreads" was too loose.)
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Postby Moerus » Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:37 pm

OK, thank you, the last translation is really a good one. I also found a Dutch translation now, but they also translate without following the Latin exactly. That's also an indication that the Latin is doing something odd. We must not forget that this is really old Latin, the first beginnings, so the poets had still to make the language and yes aslo the Romans had to search, make mistakes to find the language that we met later and is so beautiful.

But your last translation is ilLUCidating,

thank you,

Philippus
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