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Tertium tertio?

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Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Sat Feb 27, 2010 3:43 pm

I recently listened to a BBC Radio 4 programme in MP3 format, "Latin R.I.P.", presented by Edward Stourton, produced by Simon Crow, but I don't know when it was first broadcast.

Nuper programma quoddam anglicè "Latin R.I.P" nomine Radiophoniâ Societatis Emissivae Britannicae Quartâ emissum per MP3 formam auscultavi. Edouardus Stourton locutus est, Simon Crow produxit, quando autem id primùm emissum sit ignoro.

Edward Stourton (presenter): "For aspiring citizens in far flung provinces, it must have been comforting to know that the rules of grammar could fox even the giants of the Golden Age. [Here is] Peter Jones."
Peter Jones: "The Romans were fascinated by exactly the same problems of Latin grammar that we were. For example, Pompey built the first stone theatre in Rome and he spent a long time wondering how he should inscribe it. Should he inscribe it "this theatre was built in Pompey's third consulate" or "this theatre was built during Pompey's third consulate"? The point is that "in Pompey's third consulate" is time when and would go into the ablative case, tertio consule, while "throughout Pompey's consultate" is time throughout and would go into the accusative case, tertium consulem. So he phoned up Caesar who was also an expert on grammar and actually wrote a book on grammar when he was crossing the Alps going into Gaul. Caesar said he didn't know... so he phoned up Cicero. Cicero played around with it and said "Oh Hell!" he said, "Write "tert. cons." In other words, leave out the endings entirely and let people make up their own mind. That's the sort of debate these people had."


I was interested and checked possible sources. It seems to me now that the details aren't correct. Here is what Aulus Gellius says about the matter.
Fontes credibiles quaesivi quòd id mihi curae erat. Nunc perperàm eum dixisse id mihi videtur. Ecce quod dicit Aulus Gellius de hâc re:

Noctes Atticae. Liber decimus. Caput primum. wrote:Verba M. Varronis, ex libro Disciplinarum IV. haec sunt : Aliud est quarto praetorem fieri et quartum; quod quarto locum adsignificat ac tres ante factos; quartum, tempus adsignificat et ter ante factura. Igitur Ennius recte, quod scripsit "Quintus pater quartum fit consul" et Pompeius timide, quod in theatro, ne adscriberet, consul tertium aut tertio, extremas literas non scripsit.

[I translate // sic verto] These are the words of Marcus Varro from Book IV of the Disciplines: To be made a fourth praetor and for the fourth time praetor is something else. For "quarto" signifies place and three were made before; "quartum" signifies time and three times before it would have happened. Ennius therefore rightly wrote "Quintus the father becomes/became consul for the fourth time" and Pompey timidly, in order not to write "consul tertium" or "consul tertio', didn't write the word endings in the theatre.


Is Varro right about "quarto locum adsignificat ac tres ante factos; quartum, tempus adsignificat et ter ante factura"? [The Disciplinae is a lost work.]// Recténe dicit Varro in eo quod attinet ad "quartum/quarto"? [Perditum est opus Disciplinarum.]
Last edited by adrianus on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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: Tertium tertio?

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Thanks for the interesting story.

This might be one of those "rules" though that nobody follows. At least looking it up in L&S, "tertio" and "tertium" can both mean "for the third time", and similarly with "quarto" and "quartum".

But the BBC thing with ablative and accusative of time strikes me as really strange, mostly because it left me wondering if "consul" could be used for "consulate".
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 28, 2010 5:38 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:This might be one of those "rules" though that nobody follows.

Or that was once followed but changed over time and between groups of speakers.

Aut quae olim oboediebatur ac in tempore abiit aut inter dictores mutata est.

modus.irrealis wrote:... it left me wondering if "consul" could be used for "consulate".

L&S, §419a: "L. Domitio Ap. Claudio consulibus (id. v. 1), in the consulship of Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius (Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius [being] consuls)."

but "L. Domitium Ap. Claudium consules" for "throughout the consulship of..."? I don't think so! // Id valdè dubito!
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: Tertium tertio?

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:14 pm

adrianus wrote:Or that was once followed but changed over time and between groups of speakers.

But then I'd expect such a distinction to have left some trace behind but I can't seem to find any -- I mean, I couldn't find any examples of "tertio" meaning what Varro says it means. It just seems that "tertio" was a rarer version of "tertium". (I can't claim to have done the most thorough investigation, though.)

L&S, §419a: "L. Domitio Ap. Claudio consulibus (id. v. 1), in the consulship of Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius (Lucius Domitius and Appius Claudius [being] consuls)."

But like you say, this is just the ablative absolute, so "consul" here still means "consul" and not "consulship".
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:14 pm

Well, Gellius, who himself employs the distinction when replying to his friend in Rome who thinks tertio is more normal, is happy to defer to Varro by way of explanation.
Ut Varronis explicationem deferat contentus est Gellius, qui ipse distinctionem tenet et rationem amico suo Romam reddat cur tertium ac non tertio scripsisset.
Gellius (Noctes Atticae. Liber decimus. Caput primum.) wrote:Nam et Varro satis aperte quid dici oporteret edocuit ; et ego adversus eum, qui doctus esse dicebatur, litem meam facere absens nolui.

For Varro also pretty clearly let it be understood what should have been said; and I didn't want to make a case at a distance against one who was said to be learned.

The following may explain part of Peter Jones' confusion about the adverb tertiùm being an accusative when he imagines time duration:
Hoc partim illuminet confusionem Petri Jones praeter tertium adverbium quod ratione spatii temporis subintellecti cum accusativo casu admiscet.
Hugh Last, 'Cinnae Qvater Consvlis', The Classical Review, Vol.58, No.1 (May 1944), pp.15-17, wrote: Once a man's third consulship was over he was strictly no longer consul tertium but consul ter, which he remained until his fourth consulship began. p.17
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: Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:23 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:I couldn't find any examples of "tertio" meaning what Varro says it means.

Oxford Latin Dictionary, "tertiō, adv. [TERTIVS + -O]...2. As the third item in an enumeration, thirdly; also, in third place (in a race)..."
Le Grand Gaffiot, "tertiō, adv...2. en troisième lieu, troisièmement: CAES. C.3.43.4; VARR. L.5.80..."
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.
adrianus
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:45 pm

adrianus wrote:Well, Gellius, who himself employs the distinction when replying to his friend in Rome who thinks tertio is more normal, is happy to defer to Varro by way of explanation.

How do you mean that he employs the distinction? I did read the letter but he doesn't seem to do so.

Thanks for the cite from the OLD. Do they give an example for that meaning (the "in third place (in a race)") since L&S doesn't have it and I couldn't find it mentioned in my search?
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:23 am

modus.irrealis wrote:How do you mean that he employs the distinction? I did read the letter but he doesn't seem to do so.


Concerning how many times he had already written, he (Gellius) deliberately wrote "tertium" not "tertio" in his original letter to his friend in Rome. His friend had asked him why. [He had written previously that he was writing for the third time, i.e., tertiùm.]

De quotiens iam scripsisset, consultò scripserat Gellius in epistulâ ad amicum Romam "tertium" non "tertio". Qui amicus rescribens cur ille sic scripsisset rogaverat. [Priùs Gellius se tertiùm scribere scripserat.]

3rd place or thirdly // tertio.
OLD inter alia wrote:"vicit Euryalus, accepit praemium equum. . secundo Helymus. .pharetram, ~ [id est, tertio] Diores galeam HYG. Fab. 273.16."
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.
adrianus
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby modus.irrealis » Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:36 am

adrianus wrote:Concerning how many times he had already written, he (Gellius) deliberately wrote "tertium" not "tertio" in his original letter to his friend in Rome. His friend had asked him why. [He had written previously that he was writing for the third time, i.e., tertiùm.]

But does he use "tertio" differently?

OLD inter alia wrote:"vicit Euryalus, accepit praemium equum. . secundo Helymus. .pharetram, ~ [id est, tertio] Diores galeam HYG. Fab. 273.16."

Thanks
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Re: Tertium tertio?

Postby adrianus » Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:04 pm

modus.irrealis wrote:But does he use "tertio" differently?

Quoàd istam distinctionem, denotat Gellius ut ille ipse Varroni congruat. Solus huius auctoris liber qui nobis restat est "Noctes Atticae" in quo "tertio" semper ablativo casu adjectivum vel substantivum non adverbium invenitur.

The gist of his passage is that he goes along with Varro in the distinction. All we have is his book "Noctes Atticae" and he never uses "tertio" adverbially in it, just adjectivally or substantively (as an ablative). For example:
Gellius (Noctes Atticae, II.IV.3, liber secundus, capitulum quartus, linea tertia) wrote:Gavius Bassus in tertio librorum, quos de origine vocabulorum composuit: "divinatio" inquit...
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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