You are here:

Ancient Languages/Correct Latin expression

Advertisement


Question
Hi, there'a quote in Virgil's Aeneid that reads "Fortune favors the bold". Some people say the latin translation is "audentes fortuna iuvat" while others say is "Audentis Fortuna iuvat".

So, my question is: which of both translation is the correct one?


Thank you

Answer
Hello,

first of all both "Audentis fortuna iuvat" and "Audentes fortuna iuvat" are correct.

“Audentis fortuna iuvat” is the exact quotation from Virgil’s Aeneid, book 10, line 284, where the poet Virgil ( born 70 BC-died 19 BC) uses the archaic poetic form “audentis” in the accusative masculine plural instead of the more common form “audentes” where the ending –es has replaced the archaic ending –is .

Therefore if you want to use the exact quotation from Virgil, you must say:”Audentis fortuna iuvat”.

Otherwise you can also say “Audentes fortuna iuvat” as both “audentis” and “audentes” are the accusative masculine plural of the present participle “audens” used as an adjective.

Read more below.
Best regards,
Maria
___________________________________________________________________
Note that:

-Fortune = FORTUNA (subject in the nominative case, 1st.declension)

-favors =IUVAT (3rd.person singular, present indicative of IUVO, I favor)

-the bold =AUDENTIS (archaic poetic form, accusative masculine plural  of AUDENS, present participle of the verb AUDEO, I am bold /I dare) or AUDENTES (prose accusative, masculine plural  of AUDENS, present participle of the verb AUDEO).

As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English as Latin  is an inflected language where syntactical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of words.

See Virgil’s Aeneid, book X, line 284 at:
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0055%3Aboo  

Ancient Languages

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin & Ancient Greek Language and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.