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Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

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Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby pmda » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:40 pm

Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Can anyone help with this sentence. It means - I reckon - Sailors sailing to the west have the sun on their left.

But what is 'naviganti'? It seems to be a participle in the dative singular...?? What is its purpose in this sentence? Is it, in fact an adjective, that describes the Nautae (masculine 1st declension noun) and as such stands in for a verb?
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby furrykef » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:33 pm

pmda wrote:It means - I reckon - Sailors sailing to the west have the sun on their left.

Almost: Sailors sailing to the west have the south to their left.

But what is 'naviganti'? It seems to be a participle in the dative singular...??

I have to wonder if this is a mistake for "nāvigantēs". Nāvigantī makes no sense to me either.
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby cb » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:37 pm

hi pmda, NAVTAE is in the dative singular (not nominative plural), and yes the participle agrees with it. the construction is called the dative of the person judging. have a look at the Caesar BC 3.80.1 quote given in s65 (pg47) of woodcock’s new latin syntax which might make this clearer:

http://books.google.fr/books?id=WmT6mS5v4dAC&pg=PA47

cheers, chad
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby thesaurus » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:00 pm

cb wrote: the construction is called the dative of the person judging


If you want to avoid learning what feels like a new construction, you can think of datives generally as "with respect/reference to whom."
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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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby furrykef » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:54 pm

Oh, right. It was so "obvious" that nautae was nominative plural that I overlooked the possibility that it wasn't.

Hence it could be translated is: To a sailor sailing west, south is to the left. (Or "As a sailor sailing west would see it...", etc.)
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby pmda » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:26 am

Many thanks to you guys. I find the Dative of interest to be pretty slippery sometimes...hard to spot. Would you agree that the participle 'naviganti' is pretty verbal coming after ad occidentem? I was thrown by the splitting of the participle from the Noun 'Nautae'.

Couldn't the sentence have been just as easily written:

Nautae, (qui) ad occidentem navigat, meridies a sinistra est.

?

regards
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby Hampie » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:53 pm

pmda wrote:Many thanks to you guys. I find the Dative of interest to be pretty slippery sometimes...hard to spot. Would you agree that the participle 'naviganti' is pretty verbal coming after ad occidentem? I was thrown by the splitting of the participle from the Noun 'Nautae'.

Couldn't the sentence have been just as easily written:

Nautae, (qui) ad occidentem navigat, meridies a sinistra est.

?

regards

Get used to it. They often split words belonging to eatchother. Especially when a preposition is in account. Multas per gentes = Per multas gentes, for example.
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby furrykef » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:02 pm

pmda wrote:Would you agree that the participle 'naviganti' is pretty verbal coming after ad occidentem?

I've never put much thought into whether a particular participle is "verbal" or "adjectival". I think the only time it ever matters is the ablative of present participles. The positioning relative to "ad occidentem" has little to do with it, though, because (as Hampie pointed out) Latin writers arrange their words in all sorts of weird ways. And when you get into poetry... *shudder*


pmda wrote:Couldn't the sentence have been just as easily written:

Nautae, (qui) ad occidentem navigat, meridies a sinistra est.

The "quī" would be required, but other than that, I don't see why not.
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Re: Nautae ad occidentem naviganti meridies a sinistra est.

Postby pmda » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:07 am

Many thanks to you all.
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