Latin/grammar

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following? They are all from Seneca’s Epistles.

1. et grandia locuti, effecturos vos ut non magis auri fulgor quam gladii praestringat oculos meos (XLVIII.11)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. Ecce Campania et maxime Neapolis ac Pompeiorum tuorum conspectus incredibile est quam recens desiderium tui fecerint (XLIX.1)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. affectibus tuis inter ipsam coercitionem exeuntibus non satis resistentem. (XLIX.1)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. ne verba nobis denture (XLIX.6)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

Here’s the literal translation for “….et grandia locuti, effecturos vos ut non magis auri fulgor quam gladii praestringat oculos meos…” (Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, XLVIII.11):”…and having said /promised (locuti, past participle of “loquor” referring to the subject of the sentence, i.e.  “vos” .See “Quid disceditis…Why do you abandon…” at the beginning of the phrase ) great things (grandia, neuter plural of the adjective “grandis”), [i.e. the fact] that you (vos, subject of the object-clause depending on “locuti”) will /would make /permit (effecturos [esse] ut) the glitter (fulgor) of gold (auri) to dazzle (praestringat, present subjunctive depending on “ut” which in turn depends on “effecturos”) my eyes (oculos meos) no more than (non magis …quam) [that] of the sword (gladii)…”, i.e. “…after having made great promises in order to assure me that you would permit the glitter of gold to dazzle my eyes no more than the glitter of the sword…”

2. “Ecce Campania et maxime Neapolis ac Pompeiorum tuorum conspectus incredibile est quam recens desiderium tui fecerint “(XLIX.1) literally means:”… lo and behold (ecce, used here to introduce something unexpected) it is incredible (incredibile est) how (quam) Campania (Campania)  and especially Naples (et maxime Neapolis) and the sight (conspectus, nominative singular)of your (tuorum, plural agreing with “Pompeiorum”) Pompeii (Pompeiorum, genitive of the plural name “Pompei”, 2nd declension) have made (fecerint, indirect question clause) fresh [in strength]/ vigorous (recens, neuter adjective agreeing with the neuter noun “desiderium”) [my] longing (desiderium) of/for you (tui, genitive of the 2nd person singular pronoun “tu”)”, i.e. :“…lo and behold ,  it is incredible  how Campania  and especially Naples  and the sight of your  Pompeii (probably the birthplace of Lucilius)  have made  vigorous my  longing for you”.



3. “… a te discedo. Video lacrimas conbibentem et affectibus tuis inter ipsam coercitionem exeuntibus non satis resistentem” (XLIX.1) literally means:”…. I am going away (discedo) from you (a te). I see (video) [you ,i.e. “ te” 2nd person singular pronoun in the accusative ]  swallowing (conbibentem, present participle referring to the implied  “te”) your tears (lacrimas) and not enough (non satis) resisting (resistentem, referring to the implied “te”) to your emotions (tuis affectibus, dative plural depending on “resistentem”) that are issuing (exeuntibus, present participle of “eo”; dative agreeing with “affectibus”) during /in spite of (inter) the effort of controlling (coercitionem) [them, i.e the emotions)”, i.e.:
”When I am going away from you , I see that  you   are swallowing  your tears and do not resist enough  to your emotions  that are issuing in spite of  your  effort of controlling them”.




4.”…..Nec ego nego prospicienda ista, sed prospicienda tantum….,  ne verba nobis dentur….. “(XLIX.6) literally means:”…I do not deny (nec ego nego) that such things (ista) must be considered (prospicienda [esse], second periphrastic in infinitive clause), but that they  must only  be considered (sed prospicienda  tantum)….. in order that (ne, introducing a negative  final clause)  empty words (verba, subject)  are not given us  (nobis dentur)…”,with reference to the fact that Lucilius must cast a mere glance at what is said by lyric poets and dialecticians (see  XLIX.5) for their statements could deceive him.
Please note that “verba dare alicui” is an idiomatic expression literally meaning “ to give empty words”,  i. e. “to deceive”, “to cheat”.



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.