Inde puerum filii loco habere

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
pmda
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1320
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:15 am

Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by pmda » Mon May 29, 2017 4:00 pm

Inde puerum filii loco habere coeperunt eumque erudire artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur.

The above from Livy - as adapgted by Orberg is translated (by W. Weissenborn, H. J. Müller. I think) on Perseus as:

It is said that from that moment the boy began to be looked upon as a son, and to be trained in the studies by which men are inspired to bear themselves greatly.

...now I can buy the translation down to coperunt. Then they began to regard the boy in the place of a son....

...but I can't buy the translation following artibus quibus...

I would suggest 'and to rear him in the arts whereby dispositions towards the cultivation of great fortune were stirred' as a more literal translation.

For the record the original Livy is: inde puerum liberum loco coeptum haberi erudirique artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur. I think the translation on Perseus

Victor
Textkit Fan
Posts: 253
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:19 am

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by Victor » Mon May 29, 2017 6:39 pm

pmda wrote:Inde puerum filii loco habere coeperunt eumque erudire artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur.


I would suggest 'and to rear him in the arts whereby dispositions towards the cultivation of great fortune were stirred' as a more literal translation.
I don't think that's an improvement, really. To most people nowadays "cultivation of great fortune" suggests the acquisition of wealth, which would be only an incidental part of what is implied in the Latin.

Also, your word order from "dispositions" on suggests you've not construed the sense correctly; you seem to be taking "towards the cultivation of great fortune" as part of the subject ("dispositions"), when it's part of the predicate. Either that or your English word order is just very unnatural.

Lastly, I can see no justification for past tense "were stirred" when Livy is making a generalization that still holds good at the time of writing and using, for that reason, the present tense excitantur.

pmda
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1320
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:15 am

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by pmda » Tue May 30, 2017 7:43 am

Inde puerum filii loco habere coeperunt eumque erudire artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur.

What I'm attempting to do in the translation is reproduce the engineering of the grammar - rather than improve the English. I was a bit sloppy with 'I don't buy' !

My translation is based on the forms of the words as follows (I have changed the word order to reflect my English syntax).

(from eumque)

1. erudire - infinitive 'to bring him up (in this context)'

2. artibus- ablative plural 'in skills/arts'

3. quibus - ablataive plural 'by which'

4. ingenia - nominative plural 'dispositions' - isn't this a subject in a new subclause introduced by quibus?

5. excitantur - as you say - present tense passive 3rd person plural 'are developed (in this context)' - acting on ingenia

6. ad - preposition 'towards'

7. cultum accusative sing following preposition ad - the cultivation

8. magnae - adjective genitive singular agreeing with fortunae - 'of great'.

9. fortuneae - genitive singular. 'fortune / success' or whatever other associated meanings apply.

- I have no clue where the translators get: '...by which men are inspired to bear themselves greatly.'

User avatar
Barry Hofstetter
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:22 pm

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue May 30, 2017 2:54 pm

pmda wrote:Inde puerum filii loco habere coeperunt eumque erudire artibus quibus ingenia ad magnae fortunae cultum excitantur.

What I'm attempting to do in the translation is reproduce the engineering of the grammar - rather than improve the English. I was a bit sloppy with 'I don't buy' !

My translation is based on the forms of the words as follows (I have changed the word order to reflect my English syntax).

(from eumque)

1. erudire - infinitive 'to bring him up (in this context)'

2. artibus- ablative plural 'in skills/arts'

3. quibus - ablataive plural 'by which'

4. ingenia - nominative plural 'dispositions' - isn't this a subject in a new subclause introduced by quibus?

5. excitantur - as you say - present tense passive 3rd person plural 'are developed (in this context)' - acting on ingenia

6. ad - preposition 'towards'

7. cultum accusative sing following preposition ad - the cultivation

8. magnae - adjective genitive singular agreeing with fortunae - 'of great'.

9. fortuneae - genitive singular. 'fortune / success' or whatever other associated meanings apply.

- I have no clue where the translators get: '...by which men are inspired to bear themselves greatly.'
You've got the structure down fine. It's the difference between "translationese" and what makes best sense in an idiomatic translation. Lit.:

"They began to regard the boy in the place of a son and to educate him in the arts by which talents are roused to the cultivation of great success."

Now, that's decent Latin (even for an adapted sentence) but horrible English. Any English teacher worth his or her salt would resurrect the red pen and go for it. That's where you have to say "what does this really mean and what's the best way to express it in English?" Normally in a classroom setting we don't do this a lot because the focus is just on getting a good grasp of the Latin, but translators take the time to do so (and I make it a point to encourage my students to think along those lines). Maybe something like:

"They began to regard the boy as a son and to provide him with the skills necessary for a successful life."

Not suggesting that that is the best paraphrase, but that's the kind of thing translators do when they are really translating.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

pmda
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1320
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:15 am

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by pmda » Wed May 31, 2017 5:50 am

Many thanks, I am really using the translation as a wireframe to confirm my understanding of the grammar.

Of course it's true that real translation is an art and that the translator really has to reimagine and reauthor the text.

thanks.

Paul

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1871
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by Hylander » Wed May 31, 2017 12:03 pm

I think there's a contrast in the Latin between nature and nurture that needs to be brought out not just in translating, but also in understanding the Latin.

in-gen-ium -- "in-born ability"

ars -- a skill that can be taught (erudire)

Also, magnae fortunae is not merely "a successful life", but rather something greater: "a brilliant career", perhaps? Or maybe just "great things" or "greatness".

"and train him in the skills by which men of innate ability/raw talent are inspired/stimulated to cultivate/strive for/pursue brilliant careers/greatness/great things".

Translating ingenia as "men of innate ability" captures the sense of the Latin -- it's not the innate abilities that seek out brilliant careers, but rather men who possess the innate abilities. This is metonymy or synecdoche, characteristic of Latin, but in contemporary English, it needs to be spelled out. (Since this is Latin and ancient Rome, "men" and not "people" will probably be more accurate.)

I think it's important to understand the syntax--the wire frame of how each sentence fits together--but it isn't completely possible to divorce syntax from meaning in trying to understand the Latin.

pmda
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1320
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:15 am

Re: Inde puerum filii loco habere

Post by pmda » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:41 pm

Many thanks for this.

Post Reply