Latin/Grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,

Please help me understand the sentences below (Ars Amatoria 1).

1. Etsi nullus erit pulvis, tamen excute nullum.(151)
nullum used as a noun which means nothing? or something omitted?

2. Quaelibet officio causa sit apta tuo.(152)
quaelibet is adj. or pron.? What is the subject? causa?

3. Collige, et immunda sedulus effer humo;(154)
Sedulus seems to be used adverbially.
Then, all adjectives can be used this way instead of adverbs?

4. Protinus, officii pretium, patiente puella          
contingent oculis crura videnda tuis.(155-156)
What case is puella? abl.?
videnda means 'must be seen'?

5. Parva leves capiunt animos. (159)
What does 'leves animos' stand for?

Thank you.

J

Answer
Dear John,


1. In “Etsi nullus erit pulvis, tamen excute nullum” (Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1, 151) “nullum” is  an adjective that implies the masculine noun “pulverem”  which is the accusative of “pulvis” that appears in “Etsi nullus est pulvis”.
In short, “Etsi nullus erit pulvis, tamen excute nullum” literally means:” Even if (ETSI) there will be (ERIT)  no (NULLUS) dust (PULVIS.masculine noun), brush away (EXCUTE) however (TAMEN) that no  (NULLUM) [dust/ PULVEREM]) “.


2. In “ Quaelibet officio causa sit apta tuo” (152) the nominative feminine  “quaelibet” is adj. that modifies “ causa”, i.e. “ any (QUAELIBET) pretext/occasion/service (CAUSA) could be (SIT) helpful (APTA) to your (TUO) aim/goal/service (OFFICIO)”.


3. In “Collige, et immunda sedulus effer humo” (154) the adjective  “sedulus “ is  used adverbially instead of the adverbs “sedule”/”sedulo” meaning “carefully”/”gently”.
So, it is in poetry that the  adjectives can be used this way instead of adverbs.


4. In “Protinus, officii pretium, patiente puella  / contingent oculis crura videnda tuis” (155-156) the noun “puella” is an ablative as a subject of the ablative absolute “patiente puella” meaning “the girl/woman (PUELLA) permitting"(PATIENTE.Present participle of PATIOR)[it]".
As for the gerundive “videnda “ agreeing with the nominative plural “crura”, it literally means 'must be seen', i.e.:
”Immediately(PROTINUS), as a reward (PRETIUM) of [your] service (OFFICII), the legs (CRURA) will happen (CONTINGENT) that must be seen (VIDENDA) by your eyes (OCULIS ..TUIS), the girl/woman (PUELLA) permitting (PATIENTE) [it]”, that is to say :
“immediately , just as a reward of your courtesy, your eyes will be able to see the legs of  this girl who certainly will permit it”


5. In “Parva leves capiunt animos” (159) literally meaning  :” Little things (PARVA.Nominative neuter plural) ) take (CAPIUNT)  light (LEVES) minds (ANIMOS)”, i.e. “Little gestures charm light minds”,  'leves animos'  is simply a direct object.

Best regards,

Maria

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