Help with Vergil's Aeneid

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ejpoche
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Help with Vergil's Aeneid

Post by ejpoche » Tue May 17, 2005 9:20 am

Salvete,
Ever since I finished with Wheelock's, I have been translating the first book of the Aeneid. Every now and then I run into trouble that even Clyde Pharr's handy commentary can't get me through. Until recently, I had a Latin Professor available to answer my questions. Now that this is no longer the case, I was hoping to post my questions here. Any help you have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

I ran into some trouble with Lines 378-79 of Book I.

"Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste penatis classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus."

[note: the i in penatis is stressed, therefore I believe that it is an i-stem accusative plural.]

The best translation I have come up with so far is:
"I am loyal Aeneas, known above the ethers, after (our) household gods had been snatched away from the enemy (by me) which I carried with me by fleet."

I have left it as broken as possible, but I felt that I should move the relative clause to the back of the sentance in order for it to make sense in english. There are two problems that I see here. By putting notus in apposition with Aeneas, I can't figure out what to do with fama. Also, I can't figure out how to place the passive participle into the relative clause. I will be eagerly awaiting any help you can give me.
Valete

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benissimus
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Re: Help with Vergil's Aeneid

Post by benissimus » Tue May 17, 2005 12:27 pm

Salve ejpoche,
ejpoche wrote:I ran into some trouble with Lines 378-79 of Book I.

"Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste penatis classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus."

[note: the i in penatis is stressed, therefore I believe that it is an i-stem accusative plural.]
first of all, be careful with your terminology. the final I of penatis is not stressed, it is long. a long syllable fills a long place in the metre and is pronounced twice as long as a short syllable. a stressed syllable has nothing to do with Latin metre and merely means that the syllable is pronounced with more emphasis, i.e. more loudly. you are correct to note that it is an accusative plural of the third declension. the stressed syllable of penatis is -na-, so you can see there is quite a difference in meaning when you say stress or length.
The best translation I have come up with so far is:
"I am loyal Aeneas, known above the ethers, after (our) household gods had been snatched away from the enemy (by me) which I carried with me by fleet."
normal word order would be "sum pius Aeneas, fama notus super aetheros, qui penatis ex hoste raptos classe mecum veho". you did well for the most part except in the relative clause... it should say something along the lines of "(I am Aeneas the pious,) who carry with me the penates, stolen from the enemy, in my fleet". you know that the antecedent of qui must be Aeneas because he is the only masculine thing outside of the relative clause. your translation of this portion was thrown off mostly by the effects of translating qui as though it went with penatis, but the relative pronoun taking something within its very same relative clause as antecedent would rip the space-time continuum. qui is also nominative subject and veho is first person singular, so you know it has to say "(I) who carry", not "which I carry" (where qui is wrongly treated as direct object).

fama is ablative of respect or specification "(known) in (respect to) fame", a word that is slightly superfluous. keep an eye on the macrons, a long A at the end of a 1st declension noun is always ablative singular, and there are not very many common possibilities for translating an ablative without a preposition. there is the ablative of respect, ablative of means and instrument, and (especially common in poetry without prepositions) ablative of place (where/from/at); others are only seen in certain constructions which are easily recognizable (e.g. ablative of comparison, ablative of separation/lacking, ablative with special verbs like utor).



I would like to applaud your efforts in reading the Aeneid right after finishing Wheelock's. That is not an easy transition... I should know, I have been done with Wheelock's for quite some time and just finished the second book of Aeneid. No textbook I have used can prepare you for that as well as an actual instructor. Post here any questions you like.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

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