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A vulgar creation

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A vulgar creation

Postby Merus Ipse » Sat May 31, 2008 7:21 pm

Hello all,

This is my first post here. I am at the end of my first year of Latin (Wheelock).

I am translating the first few paragraphs of Genesis from the Vulgate and have a couple of questions. I am familiar enough with the Bible that the translation is disappointingly easy- I feel like I am cheating!

However I have run into a problem interpreting exactly what Jerome meant in the latter half of the sentence:

Vocavitque Deus firmamentum caelum: et factum est vespere et mane dies secundus

1. why are vespere and mane in the ablative? Is this ablative of time, or of means/instrument?

2. Why is factum singular, shouldn't it be "facta sunt" (bc. of vespere AND mane)

Thank you
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Postby bedwere » Sat May 31, 2008 9:27 pm

I'm not an expert, but that has never stopped me so far from saying my opinion

I think St. Jerome was translating literally from the Hebrew and using Semitic expressions that are not part of Ciceronian Latin.
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Postby adrianus » Sat May 31, 2008 11:33 pm

Hi, Merus Ipse. Welcome! Salvus sis, Mere Ipse. Gratus est nobis tuus adventus!
I'm not an expert either but... Necnon peritus sum, atqui...
Vespere et mane, dies secundus factus est-- "With an evening and a morning, the second day [singular, numeri singulis] was made".
Ablative of means for a manner or circumstance of doing, I believe. Ablativus modi, ut opinor.
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Postby timeodanaos » Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:23 am

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Postby adrianus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:35 pm

Oops. Timeodaneos is right. I misread "factus est" for "factum est".
Rectè dicit Timeodanaos. Perperàm "factus est" ob "factum est" legi. :oops:
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Postby Essorant » Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:06 pm

it's a semitism and should be considered a clause of its own

The Hebrew isn't that way though. The noun <b>erebh</b> "evening" is the subject of the reverse-imperfect of the verb "to be" <b>vayehi</b> "and (there) was" and then thilk verbform is used again with <b>boqer</b> "morning" as the subject, literally "And there was evening and there was morning, a second day".<pre></pre>
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Postby mjs » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:47 am

I think vespere and mane are used adverbially here and mean in the evening and in the (early) morning respectively.
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Postby Merus Ipse » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:59 am

Thanks all,

There were some accompanying notes which my professor gave to us-unfortunately they were not listed in the same order as they appeared in the text.

Of relevance is that vespere is actually in the nominative, as well as mane (actually indecl.), a particular oddity of post-classical Latin.
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