Aeneid - Book V

By AoM, in 'Aeneid', Sep 24, 2017.

  1. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Hadn't encountered any threadworthy issues, but this one seems to be.

    The context:

    There are five competitors in the footrace. Nisus is the first one to pull away. Salius is in second, but at a long distance from Nisus. At a distance behind Salius, Euryalus is in third. And behind Euryalus is Helymus.

    And Diores is in last, but right behind Helymus.

    _______________________quo deinde sub ipso
    ecce volat calcemque terit iam calce Diores
    incumbens umero, (323-5)

    Before mentioning any of the interpretations, how would you guys translate at sight what follows, specifically the last two words:

    _____________spatia et si plura supersint
    transeat elapsus prior ambiguumque relinquat. (325-6)
  2. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I assume this is a pun on calcem = II. Trop., the goal, end, or limit in the race-course (anciently marked with lime or chalk and calce = B. Meton. (pars pro toto), the foot, in gen.?

    This line gave me some trouble. At first I thought spatia referred to distance between Diores and Helymus, but halfway through translating I changed my mind and thought it referred to the distance between Diores+Helymus and the finish line.


    and if there were any more distance remaining (i.e. between them and the finish line), he would pass (Helymus), having slipped away first (I don't know exactly what this part means), and he would leave (Helymus) doubtful/confused/uncertain of what to do.

    I think the sense is that Diores is so close behind Helymus that if there were more to the race (unfortunately there isn't, because he's already terens the finish line), Diores would have been able to pass Helymus and win the race. I think this is an instance where in poetry, present subjunctives are used for a contrary-to-fact conditional.
  3. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    None of the commentators mention it, but I assume Virgil had it in mind.

    So many do take ambiguumque relinquat as you did, but a few vehemently disagree.

    Conington (part of his note):

    "...so that the meaning will be "would pass him who is now doubtful," i.e. would make him doubtful no longer, but clearly defeated."

    Servius:

    ambiguum minus firmum ad celeritatem.

    However, Williams:

    'or leave the issue in doubt', i.e. leave Aeneas with a dilemma, a photo-finish which he could not resolve. I have argued at length in my Oxford edition why I accept the emendation of Bentley and others for the MSS ambiguumque; it is much nearer to the Homeric parallels (Il. 23.382, 527), and no really satisfactory sense can be got from ambiguumque, which most modern editors accept in some sense like 'leave him behind doubtful' or 'outpace his close rival'. Recently McDevitt (C.Q. 1967, 313) has suggested 'and leave the result in doubt', i.e. as to whether he had passed the others as well as Helymus; this is more possible than the other renderings, but gives a rather confused picture.

    And Page had had the same thought:

    'and did more of the course remain he would (either) shoot past him to the front or leave the issue doubtful (i.e. make it a dead heat)'. The sense is absolutely clear. Unfortunately the MSS. give ambiguumque, and, although que and ve are perpetually confused in MSS., many retain this. They explain (1) 'and would pass him who is now doubtful,' i.e. would make him doubtful no longer but clearly defeated, or (2) 'and would leave him behind doubtful,' i.e. whether to go on or give up. As to the first of these views, the position of Helymus is not doubtful, for he is definitely described as in front of Diores. As to the second, it is absurd to say that a man just passed at the end of a race would begin to 'doubt' whether to go on or not. Moreover both renderings give a strained meaning to ambiguum relinquere, which naturally means 'to leave doubtful' or 'undecided'; cf. Lucr. 4.1137 in ambiguo relinquere; Hor. Ep. 2.1.55 ambigitur quoties uter utro sit prior.
  4. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Any thoughts given the above? I'll most likely follow McDevitt.

    --

    A small thing, but:

    velut celsam oppugnat qui molibus urbem (439)

    Simile in the boxing match, where one competitor is compared to someone besieging a large city (the other competitor), emphasizing the size and statue of the latter.

    Would you take molibus with oppugnat or celsam?
  5. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    My first thought was to take it with "oppugnat". It seems that L+S takes it the same way:
    4. A huge engine or machine, used at sieges: velut celsam oppugnat qui molibus urbem, Verg. A. 5, 439.—
  6. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Thanks.

    Another instance where Williams and especially Page disagree.
  7. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    A tattoo-worthy line (710):

    quidquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.
    Dantius likes this.
  8. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    What do you guys make of this sentence:

    Aenean credam (quid enim?) fallacibus auris
    et caeli totiens deceptus fraude sereni? (850-1)

    There's also the alternate reading caelo.

    Context: Palinurus (the helmsman) is replying to the god Sleep, who says he should just rest his eyes since the waters are calm.

    I guess I'm wavering between taking et as etiam and reading caelo.
    Last edited by AoM, Oct 4, 2017
  9. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    I'm not sure what "Aenean credam" means, beause "should I trust Aeneas" would take the dative. Perhaps "should I believe that he is Aeneas"?
    Then I would say "et" joins "fallacibus auris" and "fraude caeli sereni", like "deceived so many times by false breezes and the trickery of the serene sky".
  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Credere here has the meaning "entrust", with Aenean as direct object and fallacibus auris as indirect object.

    The reading with caelo doesn't make sense to me, but as it stands now, with caeli, it means:

    "What, should I entrust Aeneas to the deceitful winds, even [when I have] so many times [been] tricked by the deceit of a serene sky?"
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well, it could make sense: "Should I entrust Aeneas to the deceitful winds and sky, [when I have been] so many time deceived by the trickery of a clear sky", with sereni used substantively. Still, the line seems somehow better balanced with caeli, to me.

    As for this:
    In the interpretation of the version with caeli, I'm not sure whether, technically, et means "even" or "and" because either can make sense: "Should I entrust Aeneas... even when I have been so many times deceived..." or "Should I entrust Aeneas... and (do so) when I have been so many times deceived..." But in any case, it doesn't change the meaning much.
  12. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Thanks.

    Yeah, the Focus commentary is the one that mentioned taking et as etiam.
  13. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    exigui numero, sed bello vivida virtus (754)

    bello: dative or ablative? Conington seems right in saying it matters little, but I was curious what you guys thought.

    loquelas (842)

    Any suggestions for a translation that conveys the word's rarity (only use in the first five books)? I have 'little words' now.
  14. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    Seems ablative to me, though I haven't seen the context.
  15. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Not much context. It's referring to the Trojans who are about to leave Sicily for Italy.

    From what I've seen, Williams is the only one to take it as ablative. Others translate it as 'for war'. I can definitely see both.
  16. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    Posting here because it's the most recent thread, but this is a really great article: www.jstor.org/stable/40651977

    Check it out if you get the chance.
  17. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    I'm thinking 'flattery'.

    I was curious what Fitzgerald had, and found that he translated the entire phrase (funditque has ore loquelas) as "and said".

    What in the...
  18. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    That's quite the prosaicization (this word sounds weird).
  19. AoM Rosa Caerula

    • Civis Illustris
    It would make sense if it were a stock phrase like talia voce refert.

    But to render such a vivid image (and one with a word that appears in the Aeneid only here), as you say, so prosaically? The exact opposite of one of the reviews on the book's back cover, which describes his translation as "scrupulously faithful".
  20. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    in orbe lacteo
    why translations are never as good as the original.

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