Textkit Logo

Mercurius' wings

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

Mercurius' wings

Postby Kasper » Thu May 27, 2004 2:03 am

I was working through exercise 42 of NH and this one has really got my puzzled. I just can't figure out the grammar of it.

"Relying on his wings Mercurius had no need of a ship."

Key: "Mercurius alis freto nullum nave opus erat."

Nullum doesn't match nave and does 'opus erat' mean he had a need? I really don't get it. To me opus erat would mean that there was work/task.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Mercurius' wings

Postby benissimus » Thu May 27, 2004 2:12 am

Kasper wrote:I was working through exercise 42 of NH and this one has really got my puzzled. I just can't figure out the grammar of it.

"Relying on his wings Mercurius had no need of a ship."

Key: "Mercurius alis freto nullum nave opus erat."

Nullum doesn't match nave and does 'opus erat' mean he had a need? I really don't get it. To me opus erat would mean that there was work/task.

The nullum is in agreement with opus. Mercurius should be matching with freto in the dative. Thus written Mercurio alis freto nullum nave opus erat = "Mercury, relying on his wings, had no need of a ship", but literally "For Mercury, relying on his wings, there was no need by means of a ship". Genitive could also be used with navis.

opus est (esse) is an idiom meaning "there is need / it is necessary"

Also, navi is far more common as an ablative of navis than nave, though I doubt most textbooks would mention this.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California

Postby Pete » Thu May 27, 2004 2:13 am

Nullum agrees with "opus," which is logical.

From what I have read,

"opus est" + instrumental ablative

means

"there is work [to be done] by means of"

or in better English,

"there is need of."
User avatar
Pete
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 5:10 pm

Postby Pete » Thu May 27, 2004 2:15 am

Drat! You beat me to it man!
User avatar
Pete
Textkit Neophyte
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 5:10 pm

Postby Kasper » Thu May 27, 2004 2:18 am

Thanks guys!!
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Postby benissimus » Thu May 27, 2004 2:19 am

Pete wrote:Drat! You beat me to it man!

:twisted:
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
User avatar
benissimus
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2733
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 4:32 am
Location: Berkeley, California


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], Godmy and 73 guests