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Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

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Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby quickly » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:34 am

In carmina XI, Catullus writes:

Furi et Aureli comites Catulli
...
omnia haec, quaecumque feret voluntas
caelitum, temptare simul parati,
pauca nuntiate meae puellae
non bona dicta.


Now, is omnia haec to be construed the object of temptare, with the subject of the participle parati Furius and Aurelius? Or, on the other hand, is omnia haec, which is how I read it initially, to be construed "with a wave of the hand," as in: "wherever Catullus may be" or "any of these things...nuntiate?

Also, I think it was very inconsiderate of Catullus to use "ut" locatively; because I read "as litus" for the longest time. Shame on him.
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby Damoetas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:35 am

That's right: omnia haec (referring to the places visited) is the object of temptare, and parati refers to Furius and Aurelius, the addressees who are the subject of nuntiate. The object of nuntiate is pauca ... non bona dicta. The problem with your other analysis is that it would leave either temptare or nuntiate without an object.

Yeah, gotta watch out for those temporal and locative uses of ut! Usually the context gives some sort of clue.
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby adrianus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:13 am

quickly wrote:Also, I think it was very inconsiderate of Catullus to use "ut" locatively... Shame on him.

Locative in one sense that it here refers to a place, but otherwise a standard usage, isn't it, with "litus" in apposition to "extremos Indos"?
Locativus est usus "ut" conjunctionis tantummodò quòd hîc ad locum pertinet. Nonnè aliter usus cotidianus, cum "litus" ad "Indos" appositum est?

"sive in extremos penetrabit Indos,
[in] litus ut longe resonante Eoa tunditur unda
"

"Whether he will take himself to the farthest Indies,
[to] a shore that is beaten by the distantly resounding Eastern wave(s)"
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: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby Damoetas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:51 pm

Garrison's commentary takes ut as meaning simply "where," perhaps thinking of this entry in Lewis & Short (which cites this passage):

C Transf. of local relations, like Gr. ἵνα, where (very rare): in eopse astas lapide, ut praeco praedicat, Plaut. Bacch. 4, 7, 17: flumen uti adque ipso divortio (aquae sunt), Lucil. 8, 18 Müll.: in extremos Indos, Litus ut longe resonante Eoā Tunditur undā, Cat. 11, 2 sqq.; 17, 10; cf. Verg. A. 5, 329; Lucr. 6, 550 Munro ad loc.

So if that's true, then it's a little different from the standard usage....
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby adrianus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:40 pm

I'm asking just that, Damoetas: why isn't it true? Couldn't it very possibly be so?
Cur falsum sit me rogo, Damoeta. Nonnè prorsùs possible est?
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: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby Damoetas » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:18 pm

Hmmm... well... It seems (to me) to make more sense with the Garrison/L&S interpretation:

"Whether he will take himself to the farthest Indies,
where the shore is beaten by the distantly resounding Eastern wave(s)"

Because, even in your original translation, I don't see how that's a standard usage: it looks like you're taking it as equivalent to a relative clause: "a shore that is beaten..." A more standard usage would be "when" (which doesn't make sense here), or "like/as," which doesn't seem to make sense either - "[to] a shore like [one] being beaten by Eastern waves..."? Because the point is that India is beaten by Eastern waves. Or am I missing something in your interpretation?

EDIT: PS: I also think Indos is more properly the people than the place, which makes it harder for litus to be in apposition to it anyway. (Not that it's impossible, but this just adds one more consideration to the others.)
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby adrianus » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:04 pm

Yes, you're right. What I gave didn't fit. Thanks.
Ità est, rectè dicis. Non idoneum quod obtuli. Gratias tibi.

Damoetas wrote:EDIT: PS: I also think Indos is more properly the people than the place, which makes it harder for litus to be in apposition to it anyway. (Not that it's impossible, but this just adds one more consideration to the others.)

I am reading Indus -a -um (as an adjective): "into Indian extremes/borders" (= "to the furthest Indies"). Maybe I'm wrong about that. But to penetrate into strange Indians" sounded too strange.
"Indos" adjectivum lego. Fortassè erro. At nimìs alienus mihi visus est dilectus alternus.
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: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby quickly » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:07 am

That's right: omnia haec (referring to the places visited) is the object of temptare, and parati refers to Furius and Aurelius, the addressees who are the subject of nuntiate. The object of nuntiate is pauca ... non bona dicta. The problem with your other analysis is that it would leave either temptare or nuntiate without an object.

Agreed. The other thought was spurred on by the apparent "grammatical collapse" happening here. While not hard to read, it gives the effect of rambling, and is "poetically disorienting." Hence the question.

EDIT: PS: I also think Indos is more properly the people than the place, which makes it harder for litus to be in apposition to it anyway. (Not that it's impossible, but this just adds one more consideration to the others.)

I'm going to continue reading Indus as the awkwardly construed "...of or pertaining to India," with the plural either indicating multiple places pertaining to India, or for grammatical emphasis. I find "Indies" a good translation in the former place.

Hmmm... well... It seems (to me) to make more sense with the Garrison/L&S interpretation:

Yes, I just got a chance to look at my Catullus collection (I didn't have access to it earlier). It agrees with locative ut; construing it otherwise does violence to an otherwise elegantly simple two lines.

Thanks for your help, both of you.
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby Damoetas » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:49 am

adrianus wrote:I am reading Indus -a -um (as an adjective): "into Indian extremes/borders" (= "to the furthest Indies"). Maybe I'm wrong about that. But to penetrate into strange Indians" sounded too strange.
"Indos" adjectivum lego. Fortassè erro. At nimìs alienus mihi visus est dilectus alternus.


How about "reach as far as the most distant Indians"? That doesn't sound very strange.... Also, several of the other national designations in this section unambiguously refer to people, as revealed by the descriptive adjectives: Arabesve molles, sagittiferosve Parthos. A lot of Roman poetry talks about "the Indians" as living at the extremity of the known world (waiting for Romans to come and conquer them - although that idea is more Augustan and later). And bear in mind that there were no "Indies" until European explorers discovered the "East Indies" (India + the Indonesian archipelago) and the "West Indies" (America). So, to me, it looks completely certain and uncontroversial.
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Re: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby adrianus » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:36 pm

Salve Damoetas
Damoetas wrote:And bear in mind that there were no "Indies" until European explorers discovered the "East Indies" (India + the Indonesian archipelago) and the "West Indies" (America).

In its original sense, the "Indies" means "Indian regions". Only in Modern English has it come to mean "East Indies". In translating any old document it would be an anachronism to translate as "East Indies".

You're spot on though about the rest of the poem and references to peoples (as well as places). I should have read the whole thing. And your "most distant Indians" is best, indeed. No excuse though: I should have noticed it wasn't "extrema inda" for "extremum" as a noun with Indus as an adjective (and even then "extrema Indae" is maybe better).

Pristino sensu, "terrae Indae" significat vocabulum anglicum "indies". Aevo moderno mutata est significatio in "East Indies"; sic autem aliter quàm "Indies" vertere ex fonte antiquo anachronismum sit.

Aptissimum autem quod aliter dicis de hôc carmine mentionibusque gentium. At carmen in toto legeres. Et optimum dictum tuum "most distant Indians" enim. Nec culpam transferas, quià neutrum horum, "extrema Inda" et "extrema Indae", scriptum erat, quod videre non potui.
Last edited by adrianus on Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:57 pm, 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: Catullus 11 ("omnia haec" at l. 13)

Postby Damoetas » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:52 pm

adrianus wrote:In its original sense, the "Indies" means "Indian regions". Only in Modern English has it come to mean "East Indies". In translating any old document it would be an anachronism to translate as "East Indies".


Thanks! After writing that, I wondered if might have been overstating it a bit.... Anyway, glad we reached a consensus on everything!
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