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Ovid in Ch. 35

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Ovid in Ch. 35

Postby TonyLoco23 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:51 pm

Chapter 35 includes a poem by Ovid, whose first line is as follows:

In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora

The translation is:

"My spirit compels me to tell of forms changed into new bodies"

I cannot find in the Latin sentence what would indicate the words "my" and "me" in the English translation.

Also I cannot understand how one can deduce that nova describes "corpora" and not "formas".

Maybe I am just dumb, but I find it frustrating and somewhat ridiculous that such a hard poem should be included in an introductory Latin textbook. The passage that follows, entitled "Sorry, nobody's home", is much simpler and much easier to translate. Why an earth did the writers decide to include such a difficult poem?
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Re: Ovid in Ch. 35

Postby furrykef » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:08 pm

Yeah, the Latin poetry excerpts frustrated me too, aside of course from Martial. I largely skipped them, even though I did everything else in the book (aside from the Loci Antiqui/Immutati -- I'll probably do those after Lingua Latina: De Bello Gallico).

I cannot find in the Latin sentence what would indicate the words "my" and "me" in the English translation.

The Romans often omitted such words when they're obvious from context. The problem is, obvious to them doesn't necessarily mean obvious to you...

Also I cannot understand how one can deduce that nova describes "corpora" and not "formas".

"In nova fōrmās" would be ungrammatical (it would have to be "in novās fōrmās").
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Re: Ovid in Ch. 35

Postby TonyLoco23 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:48 pm

But "corpora" is also plural, so shouldn't nova be novas anyway?
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Re: Ovid in Ch. 35

Postby TonyLoco23 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:03 pm

I think i see now that nova is in a neuter form to agree with corpora, in which case it is "nova" in plural anyway. Is that right?

I only have about 3 more chapters of Wheelock's left. I have ordered a copy of Lingua Latina: Familia Romana on your advice.

Thanks again. :D
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Re: Ovid in Ch. 35

Postby furrykef » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:07 am

TonyLoco23 wrote:I think i see now that nova is in a neuter form to agree with corpora, in which case it is "nova" in plural anyway. Is that right?

Yep. Remember that the neuter nominative plural of all nouns and adjectives always ends with "a" (there may be exceptions but I can't think of any), and the accusative of the neuter is always the same as the nominative (definitely no exceptions to this one).

TonyLoco23 wrote:I only have about 3 more chapters of Wheelock's left. I have ordered a copy of Lingua Latina: Familia Romana on your advice.

Hope you like it. :) It will likely be very easy at first, but it does get tougher as you go along, and I do think it was worth my time even after having done Wheelock. If nothing else, it's nice to have something to read that won't break your brain.

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