1. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Nitent crura.
    Sed quid plura?
    deas pulchritudine
    et caelestes
    et terrestres
    superas et genere.


    I confess that I'm still not sure I understand those last two words. I suppose that the noun must be the ablative singular of genus?

    Theory #1:

    White legs!
    But what more [can be said]?
    You surpass in beauty the goddesses
    both of heavenly and of earthly origin

    Theory #2

    White legs!
    But what more [can be said]?
    You surpass in beauty the goddesses
    both heavenly and terrestrial
    in this way (with respect to legs).

    Or is there some other meaning of genere here?
  2. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Anybody? Well, I'm not goint to be halted by little petty details like not knowing what the words mean:

    Nitent crura.
    Sed quid plura?
    deas pulchritudine
    et caelestes
    et terrestres
    superas et genere.


    Your shapely pair
    of legs so fair!
    What can I say of them now?
    No mortal goddess
    --or divine--surpasses
    you from hip to hem now.

    Again, I'm not going to apologize for my English verses being doggerel, because English doggerel seems to me here to be an appropriate way to render Latin doggerel.
  3. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    I thought that it was more
    you surpass the goddesses
    both heavenly and earthly
    in terms of beauty and of birth

    I guess I am exposing my lowborn tastes here, but I find mediaeval Latin poetry easier to relate to than classical ;)
  4. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Ego quoque.
    *********************************************************

    I thought that it was more
    you surpass the goddesses
    both heavenly and earthly
    in terms of beauty and of birth


    Hmmm. That certainly makes grammatical sense. But how could she be more highly born than, or otherwise superior in origin to, a heavenly goddess?

    Are we missing some allegory here?
  5. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I think the best we can do is chalk it up to poetic hyperbole, the same way the poet's mens...fervet et comburitur. Unless we know more about the specific woman addressed (she may have been royalty, for example) I don't think there's another choice.
  6. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Nothing at all lowbrow in that; classical poetry is highly rhetorical, and relies on verbal and linguistic effects that even experts will miss because no one today is as immersed in classical culture as the average Roman of the classical age.

    I've been reading Lucan's De Bello Civili lately. I'm only just beginning to see its brilliance because it relies on an audience who (1) knew the details of the civil war as easily as, say, we know the details of WWII, (2) spent their leisure time listening to public speechifying at the law courts, which gave them a keen ear for rhetorical tricks, (3) had a "by rote" knowledge of Latin literature, perhaps equivalent to the way we use lines from Shakespeare in an offhanded way (or better, the way lines from a TV show like "The Simpsons" permeate common discourse), and (4) knew Latin as a language they spoke from birth and a sound they dealt with every single day of their lives. It's hard to believe any of those things is true today, at least for most of us...
  7. kmp Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    England
    I think this is the fallacy of the "ideal" reader. There's no such animal. An unlearned man who has lost his brother may well get more out of Catullus' Ave atque vale than a professor who has never lost anyone.

    As for me, I've been moved and excited by Latin poetry and no one has ever accused me of anything more than the most perfunctory knowledge of Latin and Roman history.

    I don't think classical Latin poetry is much harder to come to grips with than, say, much 17th and 18th century English verse - how many people now know the historical background to Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel (or it's Biblical references). Damn good read, though - once you get the taste for it. And that's the real issue - do you have the taste for it? I think once you have the taste for Classical Latin verse, the difficulties you mention are no impediment.
  8. Cinefactus Censor

    • Censor
    Location:
    litore aureo
    perhaps in terms of beauty & breeding might be better...

    I think it is just hyperbole, as an earthly goddess is another oxymoron.
  9. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    It all hangs on the interpretation given to that genere. But I gather that the consensus would be for

    Your shapely pair
    of legs so fair!
    In heaven there's no goddess,
    nor in this earth,
    who you in birth
    or beauty now surpasses.

    in preference to my

    Your shapely pair
    of legs so fair!
    What can I say of them now?
    No mortal goddess
    --or divine--surpasses
    you from hip to hem now.


    ?
  10. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Et idcirco,
    pia virgo,
    nulli sit mirabile,
    si mens mea
    pro te, dea,
    lesa sit a Venere.


    With love laden,
    gentle maiden,
    is my heart for you now;
    nor is it strange
    my mind's deranged,
    and by love knocked askew now.
  11. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Quare precor,
    mundi decor,
    te satis summopere,
    ut amoris,
    non doloris,
    causa sis hoc pectore.


    Wherefore, prithee
    will you not be
    (Grace of the World, and Dearest)
    of love, not pain
    (I plead amain)
    the cause within this here breast?
  12. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    This close, I have to finish. But those inceptives still bother me.


    Et tuarum
    pupillarum
    forma satis parvula
    non tumescit,
    sed albescit,
    nive magis candida.


    And I will dare
    say your breasts' fair
    form's perfect; yes, I know this.
    Tidy and taut,
    they're all they ought
    be: whiter, too, than snow is.
  13. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    Well, let's put it all together, and polish it up a little:


    Pellucid star
    of girls you are,
    the flower and the dilly;
    in everything
    a rose in spring,
    and fairer than the lily.

    Your gorgeous form
    Me from my normal
    foursquare life has driven.
    Your face, I find,
    by smiles my mind
    to Venus' rule has given.

    For you, my dear,
    I'm glad to wear
    her shakles Cytherean;
    and Cupid's dart
    within my heart
    I bear without complainin'.

    As when the fire
    blazes higher
    when dry wood is laid on,
    goddess my mind
    for you, I find,
    is all burnt up and gone.

    Whose heart's so dure,
    whose soul's so pure,
    and free from any sin,
    that once he sees
    your doweries
    he'll still be what he's been?

    Cato be praised
    who by God's grace
    lived rigid and uprightly--
    in love: e'en he
    by your flower'd be
    most warmly caught, and tightly.

    And oh, such hair
    Venus would wear;
    and she would sore regret her,
    most envious
    to see that yours
    than hers is so much better.

    Your throat and brow
    so smooth, I vow,
    send to all men a message:
    "Celestial
    not terrestial
    is this angelic visage".

    Your shining teeth
    are seen beneath
    your lips, that sit so neatly;
    lips which when I
    touch them with mine
    kiss back, and very sweetly.

    And I will dare
    say your breasts' fair
    form's perfect; yes, I know this.
    Tidy and taut,
    they're all they ought
    be; whiter, too, than snow is.

    Your hands, and that
    beautiful flat
    belly, and your gracile
    carriage, I find,
    do all combine
    to make you quick, and facile.

    That shapely pair
    of legs so fair!
    In heaven there's no goddess,
    nor in this earth,
    who you in birth
    or beauty now surpasses.

    With love laden,
    gentle maiden,
    is my heart for you now;
    nor is it strange
    my mind's deranged,
    and by love knocked askew now.

    Wherefore, prithee
    will you not be
    (Grace of the World, and Dearest),
    of love, not pain
    (I plead amain),
    the cause within this here breast?
  14. Iynx Consularis

    • Consularis
    So. We've got a translation, quite similar to the original in music and (though there are a couple of doubtful places) in meaning.

    But we still don't know what it is we're translating. And we haven't heard from Timotheus since Halloween.

    I'm going to PM him, asking him to get back to us with some more info...
  15. allen thiher New Member

    You can find a discussion of this text in F. J. E. Raby, A History of Secular Latin Poetry, Vol. 2. It appears that it is part of the anonymous poems found at the Ripoll Monastery in Spain. They have been published in the Spanish book Cancionero de Ripoll and in French translation in the Chansonnier amoureux (I have not seen either.).

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