You are here:

Latin/Greek-Latin epigram

Advertisement


Question
Hello Maria,

one of Simonides' epigrams in the Anthologia Graeca (Appendix) has been translated by Th. More as:

[i]Cecropis urbs te tota Neoptoleme hac statua ornat.
Ut faciat, faciunt hinc amor, hinc pietas.[/i]

1st question:
Is the scansion of the hexameter (first verse)correct like this:
-vv -- -vv -vv -vv -- (with elision in [i]-ptolem[e h]ac[/i] and [i]statu[a] ornat.[/i] If not, how does the metre flow. Actually the word [i]tota[/i] has a long -a (ablative) by nature, but it seems that is used as short. Not sure whether this indicates 'bad' composition.

2nd question:
Could you translate the pentameter (second verse) for me? I cannot understand what the funtion of [i]ut[/i] here is, particularly when I read the Greek version [i]τίμησ' εὐνοίης εὐσεβίης θ' ἔνεκα[/i], 'honoured you due to your goodwill and piety'.

Many thanks for this.

Kindly,
Michael

Answer
Hello,

here are my answers.

-1st question:

the  correct scansion of the hexameter is the following:

-˘ ˘ / -- / -˘ ˘ /  -˘ ˘  / -˘ ˘ / --  (with elision in  “-m[e h]ac”).

Note that  the adjective “tōtă ”  has a short –ă,  as it is a nominative agreeing with “urbs” just meaning “the whole city “, i.e. “the whole city of Cecrops will  honour you, o Neoptolemus, with this statue”.

So, here’s the correct scansion of the verse:  

“Cécrŏpĭs/ úrbs tē/ tótă Nĕ/óptŏlĕ/m[e h]ác stătŭa /órnat”

Note that I've put an acute accent on the syllable on which the stress ("ictus", i.e. "beat") of the scansion falls, i.e. the  elevation of the voice, aka “arsis” of the foot.



-2nd question:

I have to tell you that the pentameter  “Ut faciat, faciunt hinc amor, hinc pietas” is an imprecise translation of  the original Greek text attributed to Simonides, i.e. Δῆμος Ἀθηναίων σε Νεοπτόλεμ᾿ εἰκόνι τῇδε  τίμησ᾿εὐνοίης εὐσεβίης θ᾿ ἕνεκα,  literally meaning : “With this statue (εἰκόνι τῇδε), o Neoptolemus (Νεοπτόλεμ᾿), the Athenian people (Δῆμος Ἀθηναίων) will honour  (τίμησ᾿, i.e. τιμήσει , future of  τιμάω) you (σε), because of (θ᾿ ἕνεκα  + the genitive) goodwill/benevolence (εὐνοίης)  and piety (εὐσεβίης)”.

Anyway, a literal translation of “Ut faciat, faciunt hinc amor, hinc pietas” could be the following:
”In order to (ut) do (faciat, present subjunctive depending on “ut” which introduces a final clause) [this], on this side(hinc) love/goodwill /benevolence(amor), on that side (hinc) piety (pietas) do it (faciunt)”.

In short, though  Thomas More’s Latin translation of  Simonides' epigram  [see Epigram 18 of the "Progymnasmata" (Preparatory exercises) Thomae Mori et Gulielmi Lylii Sodalium (1518)] ,  seems not to be appropriate, it however aims at saying that  the Athenians will honour Neoptolemus  with a statue thanks to their  benevolence and piety .


Hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,

Maria

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.