First post

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Ἰσαάκιος
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First post

Post by Ἰσαάκιος » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:51 pm

Hello all,

I just joined because I am in the process of teaching myself Latin and Ancient Greek and I find that, as great as dictionaries and dictionaries are, there is something irreplaceable about real, live humans who have gone before and can offer expert advice on specific questions. Of course, I hope eventually to reach the point where I have something to contribute to help novice learners.

I am beginning with De Rerum Natura, since it is a work I have long been interested in. As soon as I finish my introductory materials in Greek, I plan on reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.

Here's my first question - after lots of searching, I having been able to determine how to parse "natura" in "de rerum natura". Does it take the ablative, parallel to "rerum", or is it nominative? Ex ante, I would have expected "naturae".

Thank you, and forgive me if my question seems excessively naïve.

anphph
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Re: First post

Post by anphph » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:15 am

Welcome to Textkit--

Ἰσαάκιος wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:51 pm
reading the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
The Meditations are deceptively difficult. Of course you should read that which you are most interested in reading, and the difficulty might push you forward, but Marcus Aurelius' use of specific hellenistic philosophy terminology makes the text often quite obscure to the uninitiated. I'd start somewhere else (check the Learning Greek forums for suggestions etc).
Ἰσαάκιος wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:51 pm
"natura" in "de rerum natura". Does it take the ablative, parallel to "rerum", or is it nominative? Ex ante, I would have expected "naturae".
De rerum natura. It's ablative because of the de. Rerum is genitive plural, but it really is not "parallel" to anything. It would never be naturae, which would be, I'm guessing, a nominative plural and out of place here.

Ἰσαάκιος
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:32 pm

Re: First post

Post by Ἰσαάκιος » Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:10 am

Ahh thanks, that makes sense. That seems to be pretty common in Latin - 'splitting' two syntactically related words with a word of a different case in a way that would sound completely unnatural in English. So if I understand correctly, "rerum" is used in the same sense of "RE: " in email messages, and we would say something like "Rerum de natura" if we were projecting our own word order onto Latin. Am I on the right track?
Last edited by Ἰσαάκιος on Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

anphph
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Re: First post

Post by anphph » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:05 am

Ἰσαάκιος wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:10 am
So if I understand correctly, "rerum" is ablative in the same sense of "RE: " in email messages, and we would say something like "Rerum de natura" if we were projecting our own word order onto Latin.
I do not understand what you mean here. As I said above, rerum is genitive plural, not ablative. We shouldn't project our own word order onto Latin, although of course De rerum natura translates as On <the> nature <of> things.

Hylander
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Re: First post

Post by Hylander » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:08 pm

splitting' two syntactically related words with a word of a different case in a way that would sound completely unnatural in English. . . . we would say something like "Rerum de natura" if we were projecting our own word order onto Latin
Actually, in some instances we use the same word order in English. In English we would say "about John's nature", not "John's about nature". "About things' nature" sounds a little unnatural in English, but that's because we would use a prepositional phrase, "of things" instead of the possessive/genitive in this expression.

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