The Trojan Hero: Ante oculos patris, Pyrrhus Politam...

By burgerking316, in 'Latin to English Translation', Jan 5, 2009.

  1. burgerking316 New Member

    I stumbled upon this website in hopes of someone helping me translate this latin sentence into english, and to learn more about latin.

    Here it is:

    Ante oculos patris, Pyrrhus Politam, filium Priami, et postea regem Priamum necavit, dum Hecuba, regina Trojae et uxor Priami, cum filiabus spectat.

    From what I can understand, it sounds like it's saying:

    Before his father's eyes, Pyrrhus Politam, son of Priamus, killed king Priamus and afterwards, while Hecuba, queen of Troy and wife of Priamus, watches with her friends.

    That doesn't make any sense.

    I don't understand how "et postea" fits into the whole sentence. It feels like there needs to be another verb to help it fit.
    I kept Politam as it was because I think it was a part of a name, I'm not sure if that's right.

    Note that I am in my second year of taking latin and we haven't been taught pronouns yet. I am the probably the most interested and striving person in my class to learn latin, and I want to be able to write and maybe speak latin fluently in a few years.
  2. scrabulista Consul

    • Consul
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Re: The Trojan Hero (sentence translation)

    Ante oculos patris, Pyrrhus Politam, filium Priami, et postea regem Priamum necavit, dum Hecuba, regina Trojae et uxor Priami, cum filiabus spectat.

    Politam is indeed a name -- what case does it look like?
    The nominative singular is Polites, and it's first declension.

    Pyrrhus necavit Politam et postea necavit regem...

    Also filiabus is from filia -- "daughter." This form distinguishes it from filiis, which could refer to either filius or filia.
  3. Imber Ranae Ranunculus Iracundus

    • Civis Illustris
    Re: The Trojan Hero (sentence translation)

    You've almost got it, but I think the names are confusing you a bit. Pyrrhus is the subject, as you have it correctly. He is better known as Neoptolemus and was the son of Achilles, whom the word patris refers to. Politam, however, is the accusative of Polites the son of king Priam, as the following two words indicate. The et connects him with his father Priam as the victims of Pyrrhus, and postea shows that the father was killed after the son. Also, Filiabus is the ablative of filia "daughter", not of amica "friend".

    Ante oculos patris, Pyrrhus Politam, filium Priami, et postea regem Priamum necavit, dum Hecuba, regina Trojae et uxor Priami, cum filiabus spectat.

    "Before his father's eyes Pyrrhus killed Polites, the son of Priam, and afterwards king Priam [himself], while Hecuba, the queen of Troy and wife of Priam, watched with her daughters."

    One other thing: you'll notice I translated spectat as the past tense "watched", even though spectat is present tense in Latin. This is simply an oddity of the Latin idiom concerning the conjunction dum. When dum means "while" in the sense of "during the time that something is ongoing, something else happens", the verb following dum is always present indicative in Latin, so when you translate to English you'll have to match the tense of the verb with that of the main clause. When dum means "throughout the time that something happens, something else happens as well", or when it means in certain contexts "until something happens, something else happens", then the verb of the dum clause will change tense according to the main clause, as in English. The first meaning is by far the most common, though, so this is a weird little quirk of the language that you'll just have to get used to.

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