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Albula, quem...

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Albula, quem...

Postby pmda » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Albula, quem 'Tiberim' mersus Tiberinus in undis
reddidit, hibernis forte tumebat aquis: [(flumen) reddere 'Tiberim': facere ut 'Tiberis' sit].

The above from Ovid Fasti (used by Hans Orberg in Cap XLI of LLPSI) is rather challenging.

The meaning seems to be that the Albula river got the name Tiber after Tiberinus had drowned in the river,...and that during winter it was swollen.

I cannot for the life of me make head or tale of the syntax however.

Albula (Fem. Nom. Sing.) quem (masculine acc. sing. but what's it doing here?) 'Tiberim' (Masc. Acc. Sing.) mersus (perf. passiv. part. Masc. Nom. Sing.) Tiberinus (Masc. Nom. Sing.) in undis (Fem. Abl.) reddidit (perf. 3rd person. sing.) hibernis (fem. abl. agreeing with 'undis') forte tumebat.

Orberg's help is in square brackets above..

If I try to translate as close to the grammar I get:

Albula, (with the submergence of Tiberinus in the waves gave it the name Tiber), was in flood with wintery waters....

Two things I really don't understand are:

1. What is 'quem' doing here? What noun is it referring to... and why is it in that case?

2. What is the subject of reddidit? Albula?
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Re: Albula, quem...

Postby Victor » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:02 pm

pmda wrote:Albula, quem 'Tiberim' mersus Tiberinus in undis
reddidit, hibernis forte tumebat aquis:

Two things I really don't understand are:

1. What is 'quem' doing here? What noun is it referring to... and why is it in that case?

2. What is the subject of reddidit? Albula?

Your confusion is understandable. The antecedent of quem is Albula. Ovid may simply be treating it as a masculine proper noun. On the other hand, he may be taking the antecedent to be not strictly Albula but a generalised amnis/fluvius, or, more likely, he has attracted the relative to the gender of the complement Tiberim, which again is masculine (usually!).
The subject of reddidit is the noun phrase mersus Tiberinus ("the drowned Tiberinus").
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Re: Albula, quem...

Postby pmda » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:52 pm

Many thanks.
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Re: Albula, quem...

Postby adrianus » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:24 pm

Victor covers everything. OLD notes Ovid has Albula as a masculine noun, otherwise it's feminine.
Victor omnia narrat. OLD dicit Ovidium Albulam nomen masculinum habere, aliter alibi Albulam fluvium femininum esse
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: Albula, quem...

Postby Qimmik » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:09 pm

Livy also writes Albula quem, but in Livy the antecedent of quem may be fluvius:

http://books.google.com/books?id=_wdSAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA110&lpg=PA110&dq=albula+quem&source=bl&ots=_iVOIFvxMf&sig=cTqOgIQNAQHdi5cb8Da9jR83S4A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dytAUpCxNLer4APLt4HYDg&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=albula%20quem&f=false

Rivers were generally represented as male gods. Even if Albula was feminine before Tiberinus drowned in her, she was transgendered when s/he became the Tiber. Without fluvius or amnis, the passage from the Fasti seems jarring, but this may be an example of Ovidian verbal wit.
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