Aeneid Bk II, lines 350-359. 3 Questions.

By lat192, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', May 14, 2019.

  1. lat192 New Member

    Hello,

    The text: inde, lupi ceu raptores atra in nebula, quos improba ventris exegit caecos rabies catulique relicti faucibus exspectant siccis, per tela, per hostis vadimus haud dubiam in mortem mediaeque tenemus urbis iter.

    1. Every commentary I've seen says that raptores is functioning as an adjective modifying lupi - "ravaging wolves", but raptores is most definitely a noun. So how does this work? I'm familiar with something like this: Caesar dux erat - Caesar as leader was... So this would be "wolves as plunderers". But this seems inappropriate because we've already got a simile here with ceu ("just as"). I know "wolves as plunderers" is not itself a simile (I forget what it's called), but this possible solution just doesn't seem to fit, especially within a simile.

    2. I know that caecos is modifying quos. My personal translation reads: "Whom reckless rage of the belly has driven out blind". I feel weird about placing the adjective at the end of the sentence., though I know that this is common for predicate constructions with linking verbs. Is there a term for this kind of construction? Is it indeed predicate, even though we are not dealing with a linking verb?

    3. Mediae is a strange genitive. I get why urbis is genetive ("of the city"). I'm not so sure about mediae. To translate it literally, it would have to be "We hold our way (iter) of the middle of the city". I have a feeling I will be told that that's correct and I just have to fix it up for English, which is fine as far as translating goes. But I still don't understand the grammatical relationship of mediae to the rest of the sentence.

    Thanks.
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    It's more or less a translation issue ... first of all, note that the ceu comes after lupi in the metrical sentence, but grammatically it is to be understood as if it came before lupi (you sound like you actually understood that, I'm just mention it to make it clear.). Secondly, some agent nouns (i.e. the ones ending in -or) are pretty close in meaning to the past participles they are derived from, just with the difference that they are to be taken as active constructions rather than passive ones. The most popular example is victor: Caesar victor rediit = "Caesar came back as a winner" = "Caesar came back victorious(ly)".

    There is nothing wrong with writing "like wolves as plunderers" because that is what it says literally. It's just that it doesn't sound like the smoothest English you've ever heard. That's why most people would write "like plundering/ravaging wolves", which is also an acceptable translation.

    Yes, it's predicative. Such predicative constructions are not unusual, especially in poetry -- even when the verb is not a copula (linking) verb.


    I don't fully understand your question here. You correctly identified mediae as belonging to urbis... and you have provided the correct *literal* translation of the sentence, which you also seem to be able to make sense of.
  3. lat192 New Member

    I've never seen the genitive function like this. What literally says "...our way of the middle of the city" in translation becomes "our way through the middle of the city". Urbis translates smoothly and is the familiar use of the genitive to show belonging or possession. But how is the genitive able to convey "through"? I guess I'm asking if this is a special kind of genitive function, i.e. is there a name for this kind of genitive; maybe a reference in A&G or something similar?




    I don't fully understand your question here. You correctly identified mediae as belonging to urbis... and you have provided the correct *literal* translation of the sentence, which you also seem to be able to make sense of.[/quote]
  4. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    I would just call it an objective genitive (genitivus obiectivus).
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Not really, since there's no "as" in the Latin. The literal translation is "like plunderer wolves".
    Bitmap likes this.
  6. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    cf. from the beginning populum late regem belloque superbum, where regem is pretty much adjectival.
    Pacifica likes this.

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