Textkit Logo

From Statius' Thebaid

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

From Statius' Thebaid

Postby Essorant » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:46 am

This is lines 601-604 of Book I, where King Adrastus is telling Polynices and Tydeus about a monster/plague that Phoebus sent in revenge for the death of King Crotopus' daughter.


<i>haec tum dira lues nocturno squalida passu
inlabi thalamis, animasque a stirpe recentes
abripere altricum gremiis morsuque cruento
deuesci et multum patrio pinguescere luctu.</i>

My awkward translation:

<font size=1>Then this dire plague in nightly pace
Squalid to slide in inner-rooms,
And recent souls of family
To seize away from nurses' breasts
And with its bloody bite devour
And fatten much with nation-grief.</font>


The use of only infinitives (<b>inlabi</b>, <b>abripere</b>, <b>devesci</b>, <b>pinguescere</b>) confused me a bit. Is this a special use or special poetic manner one should be aware of? Any explanations would be much appreciated.<pre> </pre>
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada

Postby Twpsyn » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:13 am

The infinitive can be used as the main verb of a sentence (in prose as well as poetry), and has a past tense meaning. This use is called historical infinitive.
Twpsyn
Textkit Member
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:30 am
Location: Head: in the clouds

Postby Deses » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:17 am

It's not necessarily poetic, but Virgil uses historic infinitives quite often. In many cases this indicates a rapid succession of actions, such as fighting.
<a href="http://www.inrebus.com"> In Rebus: Latin quotes and phrases; Latin mottos; Windows interface for Latin Words </a>
User avatar
Deses
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:38 pm

Postby Essorant » Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:22 pm

Sorry for my ignorance. That was the only time the infinitive shows up thus in the first book of Thebaid, and I never read so much that I came across that kind of usage before. Also I don't remember it being mentioned in Wheelock or Latin Via Ovid, two of my favorite grammars. Thanks for your answers.<pre></pre>
Essorant
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Regina, SK; Canada


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], RandyGibbons and 62 guests