Nobis vita mori, vivere pena datur.

By Pacis puella, in 'Latin to English Translation', Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Hello dear colleagues, I don't really understand this sentence - I'm sure it's something simple, though... From the same text as usual, page 60: http://ia600409.us.archive.org//loa...rema01siragoog/liberadhonorema01siragoog.djvu

    Part of an exhorting speech to fight:

    Nobis vita mori, vivere pena datur.

    I take mori and vivere as subjects, but I'm not quite sure vita and pena can be taken as agents: "Death (to die) is given to us by life, life (to live) is given to us by pain" seems weird...
    Can it be that or just a construction that I don't know?
  2. Aurifex Aedilis

    • Aedilis
    Location:
    England
    I would take this to mean "For us dying (or to die) is life, living (or to live) is given as a punishment".
    You are tackling a very hard text here with admirable perseverance. Vita and pena are actually nominative not ablative (this is a pentameter). It would help you to read poetry more fluently if you could familiarise yourself with the rudiments of scansion. The following book is an excellent introduction: Two Centuries of Roman Poetry, by E.C. Kennedy and A.R. Davis.
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  3. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I knew it had to mean something of the kind, but I still don't quite get the construction. I would understand nobis vita mori, vivere pena est. But with datur, how come that all can be in nominative (I feel like pena and vita should be in dative)? What is the exact function of each word?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I've had a sudden enlightment. I understand. Nobis vita (datur esse) mori, vivere pena (esse) datur. So simple... How didn't I understand this at once? :brickwall2:
    LCF likes this.
  5. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    How do you translate that, then?
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Lit. "For us to die is given to be life, to live is given to be a punishment." (For us to die is regarded as life, to live as a punishment.)
  7. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Vita est nobis mors(=mori); Vita(=vivere) datur [nobis] [ut] pena(nom.) <- that "ut" is never ever used/mentioned in these cases in Latin, we just duplicate the cases to hint the connection...
    However I also failed to see the right interpretation before I read Aurifex ;)
    Pacis puella likes this.
  8. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Oh ok, so you think it's not esse which is implied, but ut... I didn't know ut could be implied this way. And what makes you think that it's not the same thing in the first part of the sentence? (Personally I would imply datur ut in the first part as well.)

    And datur esse as I thought, do you think it's impossible? I think it can be that too.
    Last edited by Pacis puella, Nov 14, 2012
  9. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    In the first sentence "esse+dative" is enough as a predicate/verb itself
    (Soror mihi est thesaurus.... Pecunia mihi est omnia... Vita mihi mors est.. Vita mihi mori est).

    Yes, anytime you want to say that you e.g. "saw" somebody [being] something or somebody "as" something (maybe being is even better translation) then you simply put the same cases next to eachselves (not literally).

    Mori = hypothethical nominative of gerund (infinitives are kind of "verbal" substantives anyway)
    Vita = nominative

    Vita mihi donum datur = Vita mihi [ [essens] donum ] datur / Vita mihi [ut] donum datur
    Mori mihi poena datur...... etc

    We everytime just duplicate the cases without any other connector ;)

    Edit: Datur esse is possible only as acc+inf
    Edit2: Another examples of the duplication: Augustum infans vidi <- Agustum [ego] infans [essens] vidi (I saw him myself being a child... )
    Whereas: Augustum infantem vidi <- I saw him himself being a child(when he was a child)... etc. You can duplicate any case. (I've added some editations Pacis puella :p so just that you see it)
    Last edited by Godmy, Nov 14, 2012
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  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Actually I was thinking it could be something similar to constructions with traditur or so. Such constructions can be either impersonal, so with acc+inf. as you say (ex. traditur caesarem magnum virum fuisse) or personal (Caesar traditur fuisse magnus vir). I was thinking it could be the same as the second example here, with datur instead of traditur, and esse instead of fuisse. But your "version" makes sense too.
    Of course, but in this particular case - let's say by "symetry" - I think what is said in the second part must be implied in the first one.
  11. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    (Oh and "essens" is also only hypothethical, not really used ever (but 100% omitted) :p But you know that)

    Hmm.... it couldn't have been nominative+infinitive because there is no passive ("est" itself cannot bind an infinitive if it stands with a nominative) in the first sentence and it couldn't have been acc+inf because there was a nominative(vita), so they were both excluded (granted that the sentences were correct which they were).

    Yes, it is implied, the sentences are symmetrical, but they use different verbs: 1) It is to us as/being 2) Is-being-given to us [as/being-a]

    Edit: (again abusing tagging not to be overseen :D Pacis puella): "datur" implies some process being done by some higher being/power. Whereas "nobis est mori" is simply stating a fact.. an equation that 1 +1 = 2, so they are not completely symmetrical ;)
    Last edited by Godmy, Nov 14, 2012
    LCF likes this.
  12. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes I know that esse and its unextant past participle are implied about everywhere. What I didn't know - until now - is that ut could be implied - in your first post you didn't talk about essens but ut. (Though I guess you can interpret it in the one way as well as in the other... I mean, if it's always unexpressed in such cases, how can you know, really! )
    Godmy, I follow your example, I tag... Let's tag together, na na na na na...
    I really had in mind that datur itself could be implied in the first part. A little as in English we would say: "I regard you as a nice guy, him as a bad guy", the "I regard" is implied in the second part - except that in my sentence it would be the contratry; i.e implied in the first one.
    Last edited by Pacis puella, Nov 14, 2012
  13. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Not only that it can be implied, but in these particular cases* it would be even considered "unlatinly" if I used more than a simple case duplication to indicate the "as" state between those two nouns or pronoun+noun (again, doesn't matter in which case as long as the cases are the same, even number can differ (e.g. nom.sg. vs. nom.pl.).

    So this is probably a useful kind of information for any Latinist I guess...

    I follow what you say, but here we really don't have to be afraid to see 2 verbs* / 2 predicates in both sentences. They are only closely semantically symmetrical, but not grammaticaly/verbally.

    1) Vita --> nobis = mori <- an equation: 1+1 = 2
    2) http://syntax.t15.org/t/nYc9L.png = a higher power is tributing it...

    So two verbs, close, but not the same...
    Last edited by Godmy, Nov 14, 2012
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  14. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    As it is always implied, you can either think of it as ut or as essens actually, it doesn't really matter because it doesn't really exist after all... (Personally, I would rather think of it as essens, because, the verb esse in all its other forms being often implied, it makes sense that it should be one of its forms here too -even if it's a ghost form that doesn't really exist. :D Wow are we still talking linguistics or does this tend towards philosophy here?)
  15. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Hehe... I like actually to explain this duplication on the hypothethical "essens" ;) Because that implies that copula which is wanting there :p "I saw him when I was a child = I saw him being a child" and Latin simply omits the "being" and uses the "same cases put next to each other" trick ;) That's all the magic...

    Oh, btw, I'm able to imagine that there is datur missing even in the first sentence, but then I wouldn't mention the "nobis", it would be superfluous... so I like the idea (already implied by Aurifex) of the two independent predicates in both clauses/sentences: esse and dari
    (I prefer this interpretation)
  16. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    What do you mean superfluous? Datur nobis = literally "it is given to us", it's for us that to die is given as life and to live as a punishment. How can it be superfluous? Without the nobis it would be a general statement, like "to die is blablabla (for everyone, this is a general truth)."
  17. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Ok, I dismiss my last thought (I found out that I lost the argumentation I had in mind when I was writing it).

    It would be a legit interpretation too ;) One verb for both sentence "Nobis vita mori et vivere poena datur", so we have two interpretations, ok :p

    Oh, btw, Pacis puella: ī dormitum! :D Brevi lux denuo erit...
    Last edited by Godmy, Nov 15, 2012
  18. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes, I never thought your interpretation wasn't possible, but just that mine could be too...

    Godmy, yes I was about to go to sleep, but our discussion kept me awake... I go now.:)
  19. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Yeah, right... I was jut probably too much focused on explaining my interpretation, because it was "more obscure" (and I was kind of introducing that concept of the duplication :pP)
    (Another nice example: "Equum tibi donum do / Equus mihi donum datur" only the case matters.. gender and number are not important, it's omnipresent in Latin ;) - this construction)

    Edit: Haha, I assume that 6:22 AM should be also a good time for me :D
  20. LCF a.k.a. Lucifer

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Apud Inferos

    So it's like a long formal form and a short form kinda constructs.

    acc.+intf.
    Iulia Marcum vivum esse videt (long/formal form) -> Iuliam Marcum [esse] vivum videt (short/implied form)

    nom.+intf.
    Marcus vivus esse videtur -> Marcus vivus [esse] videtur.

    As for ut, which one is grammatically correct or both? (acc. or nom.?)

    Iulia Marcum ut vivum videt
    Iulia Marcum ut vivus videt
    Thanks

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