Latin/grammar

Advertisement


Question
Hello,

Please help me understand following sentences.

1. Si talis est deus, valeat.
2. tunica proprior pallio est.
  I've seen a source which says tunica proprior palliost.
  Is it a typo or kind of variation?

3. How can 'God bless you' be translated?

Thank you.

Answer
Hello,

First of all “Si talis est deus, valeat”  is a part of  a longer sentence that we read in Cicero, De natura deorum (On the Nature of the Gods) book I, section 124, where Cicero writes:”.. si  talis est deus ut nulla gratia, nulla hominum caritate teneatur, valeat..” meaning:”if god is of such a nature that he feels no  benevolence or affection towards men, good bye to him...”.
In short, “Si talis est deus, valeat”  means:” If god is of such a nature... good bye to him..”.
[See parsing below].

2.“Tunica propior pallio est” or “Tunica propior palliost” (not, “proprior”) where “palliost” is a contracted form of “pallio est” as the first letter of “est” drops and there is a crasis, i.e. a contraction of  two vowels (as the final and initial vowels of united words) into one long vowel or into a diphthong, is a quotation from  the  Roman comic playwright Plautus who in his “Trinummus”  (The Three Pieces of Money), Act 5, Scene 2, line 30, makes one of the  characters  say: ”A  tunic is nearer than a cloak”, i.e. “My shirt is closer to my body than my cloak” (like the English proverb “ Near is my shirt, but nearer is my skin”), just to mean that this character named LYSITELES would pay more respect to his father-in-law than to an ordinary friend.
In short, “Tunica propior palliost”  is not  a typo, but an example of crasis.
Note that the Latin  "tunica" , as an under-garment of the Romans worn by both sexes,  can correspond to the shirt of modern times.
[See parsing below].


3.As for  'God bless you' , it can be translated as follows:
-Benedicat  te omnipotens Deus”, if  the pronoun “you” in 'God bless you' refers to a 2nd person singular, i.e. to only one person.
or
-“Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus”, if  the pronoun “you” in 'God bless you' refers to a 2nd person plural, i.e. to many persons.
[See parsing below].

Best regards,

Maria
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
Note that:
-SI  =If
-TALIS (nominative case, predicate adjective) = of such a nature
-EST (3rd person singular, present indicative of SUM) = is
-DEUS (nominative case.2nd declension) =god
-VALEAT (3rd person singular, hortatory subjunctive present) = literally,”let be healthy” which however is used here  as an expression of dismission, refusal, or scorn, and then means “ good bye to him”.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

-TUNICA (subject, nominative, 1st.declension) = a tunic/shirt
-PROPIOR (comparative  of  the obsolete PROPIS) = nearer/closer
-PALLIO  (dative singular of PALLIUM, 2nd.declension) = to the cloak
-EST (3rd person singular, present indicative of SUM) = is

______________________________________________________________________________________________________
-BENEDICAT ( 3rd person singular, hortatory subjunctive present of BENEDICO) = bless
-TE (direct object, accusative 2nd person singular pronoun) /VOS (direct object, accusative 2nd person plural pronoun) =you
-OMNIPOTENS (adjective agreed with DEUS) = almighty. In ecclesiastical Latin one adds this adjective.
-DEUS  (nominative case.2nd declension) =God

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature 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.