Ne quem despectes, nocet et parvissimus hostis

By Rocit, in 'Latin to English Translation', Jun 30, 2014.

  1. Rocit Member

    Salvete!

    Could you please check the text on mistakes, because I feel there's something wrong with the sense and I can't go on translating...

    Ne quem despectes, nocet et parvissimus hostis;
    Panicus & terror, saepe vel error obest.

    Whomever you look down on, even the smallest enemy can do you harm;
    Panic and terror, or even an error hinder.

    Galli cantus Leones terret, fugiuntque. Timiditas ad probitatem facta, crebro in vitia deflectit, si enim in ignavos affectus omnine transierit, qualemcunque securitatem amans, tunc inepta virtutibus, nec privatis aut publicis rebus utilis, in vitium, illudque foedissimum degenerat. Quos autem haec imbecillitas fregit, scire, nisi cum pericula instant, idcirco est arduum, qua sibi conscii turpissimi metus, diligenter illius indicia tegunt, etiam adornatis ad audaciam verbis, & discrimina quodammodo lacessentes, cum utique illa absunt.

    Cock's singing fears lions and they run away. Timidity, coming from modesty, often changes into vices, for if cowardly (people) are totally embraced by the excitement (affectus), then however much they loved security, (but) after that all they virtues (powers?) are worthless and (they're) useless both in their private and in public affairs and (these virtues) degenerate into the nastiest vice.
    Whom this infirmity unnerves, know (?) that this is why (idcirco) far away from danger there is a difficulty (arduum), where the fear is the most abominable companion (conscius); they (who "they"?) dilligently hide its signs, but even adorned with courageous words, it appears again in decisive moments.

    I'd be so grateful for your help!
  2. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

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    Is this really supposed to be Latin to English? If so, the Latin is ungrammatical in several places. For starters, despectes and parvissimus don't exist; the infinitive of the verb for "to look down upon" is despicere, and the superlative of parvus, -a, -um is irregular: minimus, -a, -um.
  3. Rocit Member

    I'm not sure about "parvissimus", the grammar of the book I'm working at is indeed a bit lame sometimes, so it's probably "minimus"..., but what's wrong with "despectes"? It seems totally fine to me. My dictionary says that "despectes" is the 2nd person singular of "despecto" - "to look down upon" in the Praesens Conjunctivi Activi. I think the form does exist after all.
  4. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    Sup. : rictus parvissimus, Varr. ap. Non. 456, 10: parvissima corpora, Lucr. 1, 615; 621; 3, 199.
  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    They do exist:
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0059:entry=despecto
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=parvus&fromdoc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0059

    On the other hand I think there are two typos, I marked in bold what I think their correction should be.

    Ne quem despectes, nocet et parvissimus hostis;
    Panicus & terror, saepe vel error obest.

    Do not look down upon any one, even the smallest enemy does harm;
    Panic and terror, (and) often even error is a nuisance.

    Galli cantus Leones terret, fugiuntque. Timiditas ad probitatem facta, crebro in vitia deflectit, si enim in ignavos affectus omnino transierit, qualemcunque securitatem amans, tunc inepta virtutibus, nec privatis aut publicis rebus utilis, in vitium, illudque foedissimum degenerat. Quos autem haec imbecillitas fregit, scire, nisi cum pericula instant, idcirco est arduum, quia sibi conscii turpissimi metus, diligenter illius indicia tegunt, etiam adornatis ad audaciam verbis, & discrimina quodammodo lacessentes, cum utique illa absunt.

    The cock's song frightens lions, and they flee. Timidity/fearfulness, which was done for probity, often deviates into vices, for if it turns completely into cowardly feelings, as it loves whatever kind of security, then, being unsuitable for virtues and not useful for private or public affairs, it degenerates into a vice, and a very ugly one. As to whom this weakness has broken, except when dangers impend, it is hard to know, because, since they are conscious of being guilty of a very shameful fear, they carefully hide its signs, even adorning their words to give them the look of daring, and somehow chalenging hazards, when those are undoubtedly absent.
    Last edited by Pacis puella, Jun 30, 2014
  6. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

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  7. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    You should apologize to the poor poet instead. :(
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    It gives no result to me either when I type despectes or parvissimus. The Perseus search tool just doesn't have absolutely all forms in memory. I think it has only those that occur in a more or less limited sample of literature. Don't trust that a form doesn't exist only because Perseus returns no result. For example, try other forms of the same word. E.g. despectes gives no result, but despecto does.
  9. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

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    ?
    I will bear this in mind.
  10. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    You accused the poor guy to be ungrammatical in several places.
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    You can also search here for the "basic" form of the word (i.e. first pers. pres. ind. or nominative sg.), if you know it, as in any dictionary, without passing by the Perseus parsing tool.
  12. Ignis Umbra Ignis Aeternus

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    My book even says the superlative of parvus is minimus... Then again, it is a beginners book...
    image.jpg
  13. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    It is. Parvissimus is not used much.
  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Yes, the usual one is minimus, L&S doesn't say otherwise. Parvissimus is an alternative form. And there's even a super-superlative minimissimus, have you seen?
  15. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    Yes. It also reports one quote:"minerrimus pro minimo dixerunt" Paul. ex Fest. Weird. :confused:
  16. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    It seems to be a superlative on the stem of minor - like miser, miserrimus, and o and e are vowels that tend to interchange.
  17. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    Ah didn't know about such vowel exchanges, thanks!
  18. Pacifica grammaticissima

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    Well for ex. nemo comes from ne + hemo, which was an older form of homo; and nouns like onus (which was probably earlier onos), having the vowel e in oblique cases oneris, etc. There are a few such things with e and o in both Latin and Greek, but I don't know more details about the mechanism.
    Laurentius likes this.
  19. Laurentius Man of Culture

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    Ah I remember the hemo form, that's right!
  20. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

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    Perseus's parsing tool (not L&S) is what's to blame. I wouldn't put any trust in it at all. Whitaker's words is far more reliable, though it too occasionally fails to find a proper form.

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