Multum crede juvat terras aluisse remotas...

By Hadassah Branch, in 'Latin to English Translation', Apr 11, 2019.

  1. This is from Milton's Elegia prima ad Carolum Diodatum. I invoke ye, dear experts, to aid in my adventrous quest... :hiding:

    Multum crede juvat terras aluisse remotas
    Pectus amans nostri, tamque fidele caput,
    Quodque mihi lepidum tellus longinqua sodalem
    Debet, at unde brevi reddere jussa velit.

    *I'm sorry if this is so long. It's okay if you'll only give me the translation to a part. ;)
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    That's how I would take the lines:

    Believe me (crede), it is very delightful (multum iuvat) that foreign lands (terras remotas) have nourished (aluisse) a breast that loves us (pectus nostri amans) and such a faithful head (tamque fidele caput).

    and [it is very delightful] that (quodque) a distant land (tellus longinqua) owes me (mihi debet) a pleasent friend (lepidum sodalem) - but I hope it will [want to] return him [to me] (at unde velit reddere) upon [my] order (iussa) within a short time (brevi).

    (additions/corrections welcome)
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  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    "I'm very glad*, believe me, that remote lands have nourished a heart that loves me**, and such a loyal head/person, and that a faraway country owes me a delightful comrade, provided it's willing to return him to me shortly if ordered to***."

    *Or more literally "it pleases (me) much".
    **Literally "us", but it refers to Milton alone.
    ***Literally "but from where it would be willing to return [him] [once] having been ordered [to]".

    Edit: Bitmap and I wrote at the same time.
  4. Thank you!

    I still have to pound my head into how the second paragraph of your translation fits into the context of the poem. Thanks again!
  5. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    It's a bit of a si-non-vis-comprendi-non-debes-legi text.
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    What do you mean?
  7. Edit: Thank you so much, Pacifica! I was confused why it was in first person plural. And the head thing. Haha, thanks for the addition! This is why I put this up for translation.
  8. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    I understand it as "I am glad to have a found such a good friend like you in a distant land (first 3 lines basically) and I hope you will pay me a visit as soon as you can when I wish so. (last line essentially)."

    Yes, it's a lot of poetic diction ...
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  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    It isn't uncommon for Latin authors to refer to themselves in the plural. It's similar to the plural of majesty, except in Latin it doesn't necessarily have a connotation of majesty... sometimes even the contrary as I've seen it referred to as "plural of modesty" before, lol.
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  10. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    Well, I think it's not the easiest elegy I've ever read.
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The nostri and caput things aren't specifically poetic, though.
  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Regarding the context and the person to whom Milton was writing, I've found this note.
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  13. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    Not in the sense that they're confined to poetry, but that they're stylistic devices that are slightly unusual in every day speech.
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  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well, I'm not too sure what everyday speech was like (and no one can be), but "singular nos" is found even in Cicero's more "colloquial" letters, I think. The use of caput, if anything, sounds colloquial to me.
  15. True, and a lack of hold on how these devices can be used in Latin can lead a neophyte such as I astray. The note was interesting and very helpful. Thanks to both of you.
    *Still reading it*
  16. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    Colloquial? Really? What makes you think so?
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The contexts where I've come across it, I guess...

    L&S doesn't call it colloquial, but "very frequent in prose and poetry":

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  18. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    Ok, I see ... I would have called it a metonomy (or pars pro toto) as well, but such things do indeed have a tendency to become very common in every day speech.
  19. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Cf. blockhead, metalhead, pothead
  20. Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 1.14.41 PM.png

    Just for additional information. Here.
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