struggling with Vergil

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Merlinus
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:26 am
Location: Gallia
Contact:

struggling with Vergil

Post by Merlinus » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:44 pm

Salvete, amici ! :lol:
I'm trying to understand a few lines from the Aeneid. But the words aren't being overfriendly with me so far... :wink:
Here are the lines :

Quin et avo comitem sese Mavortius addet
Romulus, Assaraci quem sanguinis Ilia mater
Educet.

That's a very rough translation (not very good English) : Then his ancestor he will join too, the son of Mars, Romulus, whose mother will be Ilia, of Assaracus'blood.
The first line is the pebble in my solea this time. I don't understand the 'comitem' (accusative of comes - companion). Is the verb addo followed by accusative? *puzzled*
And I'm not too sure about the "avo" too.
phpbb

User avatar
Episcopus
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2563
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 8:57 pm

Post by Episcopus » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:44 pm

Following your translation, it looks like "comitem" is in apposition with the reflexive "sese" - lit. he will add himself as a friend/comrade to his grandfather/ancestor (avo seems to be dative), depending on the context of course, of which I am ignorant.

~E
phpbb

bellum paxque
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 pm
Location: nanun Hanguge issoyo (in Korea sum)
Contact:

Post by bellum paxque » Tue Apr 18, 2006 2:18 am

As it happens, I just finished Aeneid VI, including those very lines, today (!). My text (R.D. Williams, 1972) gives context in the back:

"777. avo: Numitor, the father of Ilia, who had been deposed by his brother Amulius. His grandchildren Romulus and Remus were thrown into the Tiber, but survived and restored Numitor to his kingdom."

And E's spot on with his explanation of comitem. It's an appositive, that is, an explanatory noun in the same case as the noun it depends on, often rendered with an "as." I couldn't tell you how many times I've been stumped by a stubborn noun only to find out that it's an appositive.

Keep at it! If you're going straight through A.VI, get set for 847-853. These are probably the most famous lines from the book and, modern naysayers aside, express the heart of Virgil's purpose, not to mention aevi anima illius.

Regards,

David

User avatar
Merlinus
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:26 am
Location: Gallia
Contact:

Post by Merlinus » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:36 am

An apposition! aah!
Thanks a lot! :D
From now on, I will light an "apposition" alarm in the front of my mind.

Such a coincidence, bellum paxque.
Keep at it! If you're going straight through A.VI, get set for 847-853.
I will ! :wink:
phpbb

Interaxus
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Post by Interaxus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:57 am



Interaxus
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Post by Interaxus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:02 am

Excuse typo 'Assacurus'. Mr Kevin Guinagh naturally got it right: Assaracus.

Int.

bellum paxque
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 pm
Location: nanun Hanguge issoyo (in Korea sum)
Contact:

Post by bellum paxque » Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:50 pm

Now, it would be fantastic if an electronic resource could combine all of those translations for the entire Aeneid! I did a lot of work, by the way, with Dryden's translation last semester. I loved his poetry and wit, though his accuracy, at times, is disappointing. But he wasn't aiming to produce a crib or a literal translation. I don't fault him for that.

Anyway, for quin et - here's what Cassell's dictionary has to say: [1]c. in statements, to add emphasis, rather, nay rather, but indeed: Pl., Ter.; quin potius, quin contra, Liv.; quin etiam, quin immo, Cic.; quin et, Hor

This differs from quin's other (manifold) uses. which are largely explained in this recent thread

Regards,

David

Ulpianus
Textkit Member
Posts: 197
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: London, UK

Post by Ulpianus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:12 pm

Maybe Dryden assumed that many or most of his readers--and at least his notional ideal readers--knew perfectly well what the Latin meant, but were to admire the remarkable way in which he "turned it" into English verse. To admire the English verse as English verse, appreciating its subtle and sometimes quite distant relationship with the original. A bit like the way one listens to how a jazz musician takes a standard and plays with it: the aim is not precise fidelity to the original, indeed part of the pleasure lies in the contrast between different versions.

In any case, I have never read anything approaching an "accurate" translation of Vergil which is not dead as dead can be in English. Goodness knows what most people who do not read Latin think of the Aeneid when they read the English translations. They must think it amazingly dull, and Vergil a pompous and prosy old fool, which in Latin it truly is not. The huge merit of Dryden's translation is that though it is not really Vergil, it is at least something approaching poetry.

Interaxus
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 580
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:04 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Post by Interaxus » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:55 pm

Hi both,

Many thanks for your thoughtful comments and the link(s). I’m slowly getting a handle on ‘quin’ (scrolling onwards, I meet it again in line 824), and you’ve certainly inspired me to try some larger chunks of Dryden’s translation. Virgil seems to be even more impossible to translate (into poetry OR prose) than Horace, who has inspired at least a few passing fair attempts (eg Milton, Housman).

Int

bellum paxque
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 pm
Location: nanun Hanguge issoyo (in Korea sum)
Contact:

Post by bellum paxque » Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:22 pm

Virgil's hard all right - and it's not mainly lexical or linguistic, I think. There are just so many examples of different expectations for what poetry ought to be. Virgil uses all sorts of repetition and redundant expressions that are more reminiscent of the psalms or liturgy, in a weird sort of way, than poetry. It takes a great mind - Dryden one - to make real poetry out of it.

I've been corresponding with Sarah Ruden a bit, as I've said, who has been working on a translation of the Aeneid for Yale (I think). I'm really curious to see what she does with it. Her creed as a translator is - keep the poetry in, whatver else befall. utinam translatio eius nobis omnibus prosit!

-David

Post Reply