Elegia Pro Solzhenitsyne (in memoriam)

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Kasper
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Elegia Pro Solzhenitsyne (in memoriam)

Post by Kasper » Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:36 am

Elegia Pro Solzhenitsyne (in memoriam)

dum virtus ursi confusae mens et hominis,
impetui veri quit retinere nihil.

Twpsyn
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Post by Twpsyn » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:48 pm

Your grammar is rather odd, and the first line doesn't scan. (hominis).

Kasper
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Post by Kasper » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:27 am

Thanks for the comments Twpsyn.

Well, it is poetry of course, or at least language set to meter, and the grammar tends to be a bit odd. Are you saying that even when compared to poetry the grammar is (too) odd? If so, why?

In prose the lines would read:

"dum virtus ursi et mens hominis confusae [sunt], nihil impetui veri retinere quit."

You'll have to forgive my lack of experience with latin, but why is this odd?

re 'hominis', i believe it scans short-long-short. This seems to scan fine?

Thanks in advance!

Twpsyn
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Post by Twpsyn » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:16 am

H?mĭnĭs.

I think I see what you're trying to say now. But impetui should be impetus to agree with veri, or veri should be vero (dative~genitive). It's also not clear what the subject of the main clause is: at a first read I assume it's unstated, so '(it/he) can hold back nothing of a true atatck/vigour' (in which case veri is correct); at a second read I take nihil as the subject, and have 'nothing can hold (him) back from a true attack/vigour', (in which case impetui is right), though I'm not sure dative of separation with retineo is a standard construction.

What's odd about the first line is that you have the perfect participle agreeing with its two subjects before the second subject, with its et, is introduced, and the absence of the esse obscures the fact that confusae is the verb of the dum clause. Since it comes before the et, my mind wants to construe it with virtus or mens or something, which is of course impossible.

In any case, since you need to deal with the two issues of hominis and impetui veri, the couplet will need some rephrasing, and I'm sure the meaning will come out more clearly once that is done.

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