Fabarie cum prole comes descendit avite; Illinc a multis plurima doctus abit.

By Pacis puella, in 'Latin to English Translation', Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Hello everyone,

    I am stuck on this sentence :(:

    Fabarie cum prole comes descendit avite;
    Illinc a multis plurima doctus abit.

    It is from this text, particula VII: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ebulo.html

    Comes has to be the subject, though I don't know what I must understand by comes here.. The companion? It seems strange in the context but let's keep it thus far, so: "the companion descends with his children" now, fabarie avite, is this a genitive? What does it apply to, comes or prole? And, what does it mean? Avitus= relative to the grand-parents, the ancestors; fabaria= bean seller??? Is this some kind of metaphore or what? I don't get it. Illinc a multis plurima doctus abit= he departs from there having been taught by many... and what the hell is the function of plurima?

    I feel so damn stupid :crucified:

    Anyway if someone can help me understand this...
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    That's really puzzling...

    comes does mean companion, but it usually simply indicates that somebody accompanies somebody else or does something in somebody else's company. Without any further context, I would simply understand it as "He descends in company of his son(s)" or "accompanying his son" in this context, since comes is nominative.

    Fabaria is probably a proper name, it occurs further down the poem again - but it is a real crux to me.
    The Romans called a German island Fabaria (named after beans), but that word (like the bean seller) scans as Făbārĭa, so it wouldn't fit into the metre.
    I'm afraid this is hard to understand without any deeper contextual insight.

    plurima is probably just a Greek accusative (accusativus respectus): taught in (respect to) a great number of things
  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Thank you. And it's comforting to see that I'm not the only one to find it "puzzling"...
    I didn't know that accusativus respectus. So remains the problem of Grandma's beans.
  4. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    I won't add much new (valuable) information, I'll probably just repeat what has been already said by Bitmap:

    - "comes" creates there (on 99,9%) a double nominative to the "he" subject in descendit (if it is a man): he as comes = he as companion <- in latin we rather duplicate cases (in this case is-nom.sg. + comes-nom.sg than use this kind of "as" which we do in most of the living languages around us and that applies for a duplication of any case...

    - "a multis plurima doctus" as hinted: "doctus" works there as a perfect participle of a deponent verb would = that is actively (having been taught=>having learnt a lot(plurima) from many people (a multis) )

    Also doceo, docere takes two accusatives by default (doceo aliquem aliquid) the accusative of person and of a thing. So when you turn it into a passive, the accusative of person turns into a nominative but the second accusative stays accusative (or it should be like that)...

    So we could expect the same effect for example also with the passives of "(inter)rogo, interrogare aliquem aliquid" (a use next to the aliquem de aliqua re) = aliquam rem (inter)rogatus
    Last edited by Godmy, Oct 30, 2012
    Pacis puella likes this.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well I somehow felt that it had to mean "having been taught many things by many", but I couldn't figure out the function of plurima, so I couldn't be sure, because I really didn't know that a verb in passive mood could have such a complement in accusative.

    PS: Is this just a construction borrowed from Greek, rare in Latin? (Bitmap said it was a Greek accusative.) Because I think that, with a past participle, you're much likelier to find such constructions as doctus de aliqua re, or even in aliquam rem...
    Last edited by Pacis puella, Oct 30, 2012
  6. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    (To be honest I wasn't aware of this consciously too, I've just figured it out in a bath - so thanks... :D But the dictionaries seem to confirm that (rogo, interrogo, doceo in passive still with an accusative of thing; ergo "Multi eum plurima docuerunt -> A multis plurima doctus est)
    Pacis puella likes this.
  7. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    In classical Latin, docere is not used in the passive as far as I know - you would use discere instead. That's why doctus is to be understood more as an adjective than a participle and combines itself with the prepositional expressions you mentioned (although I think you meant in aliqua re; but there is ad aliquam rem).

    For this reason, doctus with a bare accusative seems a bit strange to me. I know that the passive use of docere is technically possible (Ovid has the well-known fas est et ab hoste doceri), but considering it a participle seems a bit counter-intuitive, at least to me, when there is that well-established adjective... but maybe you can account for the accusative that way as well, especially with "a multis" hinting at a regular passive construction.

    A Greek accusative (or also called accusativus respectûs) is basically a stranded accusative that does not really fit into the sentence grammatically - it occurs in Greek regularly. In such cases it simply functions as an accusative of respect ("with regard to...").
    As far as I know, it does not occur in classical Latin, but you can find it several times in poetry (and also in post-Augustean prose). An example I have in mind would be from Ovid's Fasti: traiectus pinna tempora cantat olor (the swan sings, pierced by an arrow (pinna) 'with regard to his temples (tempora)' - i.e. his temples having been pierced by an arrow) ~ the whole sentence is actually longer, but that's enough to show my point :) Here, too, you find a participle with a seemingly non-sensical accusative
    Pacis puella likes this.
  8. malleolus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    There are several readings of "Fabari(a)e" to be found.
    EDIT: Sorry about my hasty reply.Re-checked and found out that Fabari(a)e is a town with a castle in the vicinity of Agrigent.
    Last edited by malleolus, Oct 30, 2012
    Pacis puella likes this.
  9. malleolus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    "comes" in medieval Latin would be some kind of nobleman , probably referring to Tancred. Isn't this the bit about the crowning ?
    Pacis puella likes this.
  10. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    That makes more sense than the bean-allusions ... and it leaves room for a different, acceptable scansion. I suppose Fabariae is a locative, then?!
  11. malleolus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    I would think so .
    Last edited by malleolus, Oct 30, 2012
  12. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    That would require it to be Fabariâ rather than Fabariae
  13. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Last night in my bed that very idea of a locative just struck my mind. But can a locative be used to say that you are leaving a place? Normally I think it would be the ablative Fabaria as Bitmap says, but maybe there are exceptions (besides don't forget this is medieval Latin), because indeed "he leaves the ancestral Fabaria" makes a lot of sense.

    Malleolus, you're right for comes. It can't simply mean "in the company of his sons (companion with his sons)" as Bitmap and Godmy thought, because the word comes appears in other places (with completely different contexts) in the text.

    Or is it rather "he goes down to the ancestral Fabaria", and only then "he departs from there having been taught about numerous things by many people"?
  14. malleolus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Just now had a look at the Italian version of the Liber ad Honorem Augusti and have to correct my translation once again.
    I'd say it is "In Fabaria (locative) the count took up residence with .... and from there he left having been taught a great many things by many ...." .
    Hope this helps.
    Pacis puella likes this.
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes it does! Thanks. I had misinterpreted descendit.
  16. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    For plurima doctus compare
    Horace, Odes, III, 8 docte sermones utriusque linguae
    Pacis puella likes this.
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    All of you, carissimi ac doctissimi sodales, have been very helpful. I think that from now on I won't hesitate to post passages I have difficulty with, even if I must sometimes look stupid. I guess that's by getting to understand less easy passages with the help of others first, that eventually I will come to be able to do it on my own.
    Godmy likes this.
  18. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    I don't think it's even a Greek accusative. doceo takes double accusative, so the passive can be construed with an accusative of what is taught (but not who is being taught to, which always becomes the subject*). So it's just "having been taught very many things".


    *e.g. you can't say res me doctae for "things taught to me".
  19. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    Yes, Woodcock gives an example from Livy 6, 32, 7 to illustrate this double accusative with doceo:
    Latinae legiones longa societate militiam Romanam edoctae...
    Godmy refers to the double accusative above.
    Last edited by Aurifex, Oct 30, 2012
  20. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    There are a good number of instances of passive doceo in Cicero that aren't participles, so it's certainly classical. I do agree, of course, that doctus is far more frequently used as a simple adjective meaning "learnèd" or "erudite".

Share This Page

 

Our Latin forum is a community for discussion of all topics relating to Latin language, ancient and medieval world.

Latin Boards on this Forum:

English to Latin, Latin to English translation, general Latin language, Latin grammar, Latine loquere, ancient and medieval world links.