Catullus 48

By Phoebus Apollo, in 'Reading Latin', Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Phoebus Apollo Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I'm having trouble translating the line in bold:

    mellitos oculos tuos, Iuuenti,
    si quis me sinat usque basiarc,
    usque ad milia basiem trecenta
    nec numquam uidear satur futurus,
    non si densior aridis aristis
    sit nostrae seges osculationis.

    I think it literally means 'nor would I ever think that I would be sated', but I'm thrown off by two things:

    firstly, the double negative - Guy Lee's translation renders it 'nor never think I'd had enough', but doesn't this mean 'nor would I never think that I'd had enough' ie 'I would always think think I had enough', which kind of misses the point?

    Secondly, the use of futurus - I think it stands for futurus esse? I would translate this as 'would', but Lee translates it had 'I had had enough', as if it's a perfect infinitive?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Literally it is "nor would I (n)ever seem about to be sated." Some liberty was taken in the translation you've found.

    You are also correct that the two negatives would more usually cancel each other, yet here they don't.
    Phoebus Apollo likes this.
  3. Phoebus Apollo Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Thank you :)

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