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A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

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A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby Alatius » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:27 am

As I'm editing the text of this book, I have come across a sentence which I would like to get some input on. The original says:

"The judge, by the way, was the King; and, as he wore his crown over the wig, he did not look at all comfortable, and it was certainly not becoming."

This was rendered into Latin as follows:

"Iudex vero erat Rex; cumque coronam super capillamento gereret, aliquantum incommodi perpeti visus est, eaque satis inepta specie erat."

But that ending phrase seems very contrieved to me; it must be an ablativus qualitatis: "... and this rather silly appearance he had." Instead, I'm inclined to believe that specie is a typo for species; the meaning would then be "... and this was a rather silly sight" with "ea" agreeing with "species" by attraction.

Would you agree, or is the original wording defensible? I'm afraid of missing something obvious here. :)
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Re: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:56 pm

Alatius wrote:Would you agree, or is the original wording defensible?

Minimè. Bonum est, ut opinor, Alati.
"specie" = "to all appearances"
"...eaque satis inepta specie erat." = 'and it ["corona super capillamento"] was pretty inappropriate to all appearances"
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 sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby Alatius » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:35 pm

Ah! Thank you; I'm very glad I asked: evidently I was too fixed on my initial interpretation. So, if I understand you correctly, you are proposing is that ea(que) is nominative singular feminine, agreeing with corona, and in turn that inepta is then nominative as well? If so, I would interpret specie (into perhaps less idiomatic English) as "with regards to appearance", but I guess the gist is the same.

Since I'm evidently not infallible (heh!), I might as well ask about another sentence:

"... she was now about two feet high and was going on shrinking rapidly: she soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding..."

"... Mox repperit causae esse flabellum quod teneret..."

I can't parse that, being pretty confident that causae should be causam. Or?
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Re: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:37 pm

Alatius wrote:You are proposing...

Yes indeed.
Rectè supponis: id quidem propono.

Alatius wrote:I can't parse that, being pretty confident that causae should be causam. Or?

I like "in causâ esse flabellum" but Terence says "causae" // Sic dicam at aliter "causae" dici potest, secundum Terentium:

Terence, Phormio, 874,5 wrote:"aliquid credito, Phormio, esse causae."
"[You can] Believe, Phormio, something is the cause [of it]"

+ "quid causae est quin..." apud Terentium Horatiumque
Last edited by adrianus on Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:53 pm, edited 1 time 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: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby Alatius » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:52 pm

Ignosce mihi tantum Anglice scribenti, quaeso...

Terence, Phormio, 874,5 wrote:"aliquid credito, Phormio, esse causae."

Hm, interesting, but what is the grammatical structure here? Is that a partitive genitive? Wouldn't a closer translation then be "There is some(thing of) reason"? In that case this example is not parallel to "mox repperit causae esse flabellum", is it?
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Re: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:59 pm

Forsit sicut haec:
"id mihi curae est" "That's of interest to me"
seu "non flocci facio" "I don't give a straw [bit of wool]."

Almost like genitive of quality.
Ferè simile est casûs genetivi qualitatis.

Aliquid credito, Phormio, esse causae.
Flabellum credito, Phormio, esse causae.


A scarf may cause, but may not be a cause, but can be of a cause [belong to a cause].
Flabellum aliquid evenire faciat; non sicut autem causa id existare, at aptiùs causae esse potest.
Last edited by adrianus on Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:43 pm, edited 1 time 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: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby Alatius » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:43 pm

I think you might be right... :) I found a quote from Livy that is about as close you can come:
Ab Urbe Condita 38.52 wrote:... L. Scipio morbum causae esse, cur [P. Scipio] abesset, excusabat.
"Lucius Scipio gave as excuse that sickness was the reason why he [Publius] was absent."

You learn something new every day! I wonder though if this might not in fact be a dative form.
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Re: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby Vexx » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:03 pm

offtopic:

Wow ! Alice in wonderland in Latin!! id est mirificus !
Wondering; what is the relative difficult of it as a text to read, as in beginners first reads ---> intermediate ----> advanced?
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Re: A sentence from Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:13 pm

Avitius wrote:...if this might not in fact be a dative form.

Say "dative possessive" and we'll be back at genitive.
Possessivum dativum dicito et ad genetivum redibimus.
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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