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a dubius derrivation

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a dubius derrivation

Postby Kynetus Valesius » Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:49 am

Recently in another forum, another user brought to my attention an ancient author whose name I hadn't even heard of, Lucius Iunius Moderatus Columella, who authored "de re rustica" although there seem to have been several books by this same title. In any event, I was surprised to find that I could more or less read the text as opposed to decode it. As such, it may be a one good place among others for beginners to start after finishing their preliminary studies.

The first page begins with a discussion of how the interests of farmers and those who raise livestock are often held to be at odds with one another. The author though sees an underlying commonality of interests. Then we read,

nec tamen ulla regio est, in qua modo frumenta gigantur, quae non, ut hominum, ita armentorum adjumento juvetur. unde etiam jumenta nomen a re traxere, quod nostrum laborem, vel onera subvectando, vel arando juvarent.


Nor however is there any region, assuming that it produces crops, that isn't helped by the assistance as of men so of beasts; whence also jumenta take their name, from the fact that they assist our labors either by carrying burdens or through plowing.

I was struct by a couple of things in the passage

1. the usage of the word "modo" which I intuited (didn't consult anything) to mean something like "assuming" as in "in which assuming crops are produced"; am I correct?

2. the word "re" seems to be linked to the clause that follows but also perhaps to "unde". it seemed like a very nifty construction, and one that I hadn't seen or perhaps not recognized before: herds (jumenta) take their name from the fact (re) that (quod).

3. and finally, what was most interesting, the derivation itself; the author derives the word jumentum (herd) from the fact that cattle are a help (adjumentum) in bearing burdens and in plowing. Now then, how can I know whether this a true or a folk etymology. Is there some online reference - because that's really the only the only kind I use, principally WORDS and GLOSSA. This third point, was the reason I posted. How can we check etymologies of latin words? You would think that such a reference would be both basic and extremely useful.

Excuse me for not writing in Latin; recently I have been doing quite a bit of that on both the Grex and Schola.
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Re: a dubius derrivation

Postby adrianus » Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:12 pm

Salve Kynete Valeri
Kynetus Valerius wrote:1. the usage of the word "modo" which I intuited (didn't consult anything) to mean something like "assuming" as in "in which assuming crops are produced"; am I correct?

I think not. Modo means "just", "only", "merely" here as an adverb, I'd say. ("just crops")
Minimè. Hîc "tantummodò", "merè" seu "solùm" adverbium significatur, puto.
Kynetus Valerius wrote:How can we check etymologies of latin words?
Look up a good dictionary, L&S or OED.
Inquire in bonum dictionarium, exempli gratiâ, in L&S vel OLD.
L&S: jumentum [const. from jugimentum, from jungo]
OLD: jumentum [prob < *iug- (IVNGO) + -s- + -MENTUM...]
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: a dubius derrivation

Postby adrianus » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:49 pm

Kynetus Valesius wrote:the word jumentum (herd)

I just noticed "herd", Kynete. "Jumentum" is not "herd" but a beast of burden, such as a mule or ass_ or some such.
Modò animadverti, Kynete; non armentum necnon grex significat "jumentum", magìs animal onerarium, ut hinnus, ut asinus vel bestia talis.
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: a dubius derrivation

Postby thesaurus » Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:30 am

Kynete,

Si derivationes verborum scire necnon latine profundius fodere vis, hunc situm, Glossa: a Latin dictionary, tibi valdius commendare non possum. E dictionario claro ab Lewis Shortque scripto oritur, qui liber auctoritatem habet plurrimam necnon usurpandi exempla idonea praebet. Cum prius solùm programmate Whitaker's Words uti mihi mos esset, hodie Glossâ saepe utor atque mihi adjumentum grande adfert. Quid magis refert, facillime hoc programmate vel situ uti est. Programma quod in ordinatrum servari potest ocissime ocissime est patefactum (meo saltim ordinatro). Tolle (immo utere)!

If you want to know the derivations of words and improve your Latin, I can't recommend Glossa: A Latin Dictionary more strongly. It uses the Lewis and Short "A Latin Dictionary," which is very authoritative and provides lots of instances of usage. Although I was in the habit of only using Whitaker's Words earlier, nowadays I frequently use Glossa and it's been a big help. Perhaps more importantly, ti's very easy to use either on the site or downloaded onto your computer. It opens and runs very quickly on my computer. Give it a shot.

Si programmate uteris ut pro verbo "jumentum" quaeras, haec invenis:
If you search for "jumentum" you get the following:
jūmentum, i, n. [contr. from jugimentum, from jungo] :
I. jumenta ducunt, Plaut. Ep. 2, 2, 27; a beast used for drawing or carrying, draught-cattle, a beast of bur- den, esp. a horse, mule, or a** (class.): cum illam curru vehi jus esset, morarenturque jumenta, Cic. Tusc. 1, 47, 113; Caes. B. C. 1, 60: jumento nihil opus est, i. e. equo, Cic. Att. 12, 32: sarcinaria,beasts of burden Caes. B. C. 1, 81: non jumenta solum, sed elephanti etiam, Liv. 21, 37: vectus jumentis junctis, Nep. Tim. 4: servi ut taceant, jumenta loquentur, Juv. 9, 103.—Freq. opp. boves: jumenta bovesque, Col. 6, 19; cf. Amm. 16, 12, 22; 35: jumentis legatis boves non continentur, Paul. Sent. 3, 6, 74.— Sing. collect. : vultur, jumento et canibus relictis, etc., Juv. 14, 77.—
II. A carriage, vehicle, XII. Tab. ap. Gell. 20, 1, 28.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
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