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Post by Kasper » Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:35 am

Stupid question I'm sure:

is a title of a book always in the ablative absolute, because there is no further connection to the sentence (in the obvious absence of a sentence)? or is it just that because a lot of titles start with 'de' that they are in the ablative?
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”

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Post by benissimus » Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:29 pm

I think titles are typically kept in the nominative and decline according to normal rules. Cicero has works "De Senectute" and "De Amicitia", which are in ablative because of a preposition. But the Iliad is "Ilias" (nom.) and Ovid has "Metamorphoses" (nom.). Of course we have the new works "Cattus Petasatus" and "Harrius Potter" and "Ursus Nomine Paddington", all in the nominative by default.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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Post by Moerus » Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:25 pm

For a title in Latin, we have two possibilities:

1. Nominative: mostly used when the title is the name of a person or a living thing, who / which is in fact the protagonist or an actor in the book. The mean speaker or a personalized thing.
For example: Laelius de amicitia: Laelius is one of the speakers in the treatise. E. G.: Culex, ...
2. De + ablative: When we want to say what it is about! So we name the object of the siscussion, like in 'de amicitia' it's about friendship.
3. Sometimes the two are used together: Cato, de senectute; Laelius, de Amicitia.

Remarks: 1. These rules are not always respected.
2. Most of the titles of the works we have were given later, mostly in de Middle Ages.



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