Captivi

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
So I've just begun to read Plautus's Captivi and I've already run into some trouble.

Plautus dixit:
Hos quos videtis stare hic captivos duos,

illi qui astant, hi stant ambo, non sedent;

hoc vos mihi testes estis me verum loqui.

senex qui hic habitat Hegio est huius pater.

sed is quo pacto serviat suo sibi patri,

id ego hic apud vos proloquar, si operam datis.
Here's what I've got:

These two captives you see standing here,

they who stand by, they're standing, not sitting;

you are witnesses that I say this truthfully.

The old man who lives here is this man's father Hegio.

But by what means he is a slave to his own father,

that I shall tell you, if you listen up.
Is this remotely right? I'm not sure if I got the quo pacto right, and I wasn't sure why serviat was subjunctive; but is it because quo pacto is creating an indirect question? Just sort of confused with this sentence.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
"Similar cases in Latin of a later date are panem pyrum de suo sibi Petronius 66 in suo sibi canalis Vitr p 207 18 ed R magister eloquentiae inclutus suo argumento confutatus est Gell 5 10 16 oravit ut induere permitterent sua sibi omnia indumenta ibid 16 12 inperitus vites suas sibi omnis et oleas detruncat 19 12 9 In all these cases disregarding alliteration for the which probably played some part in the formation of the the dative was added to the possessive pronoun to the latter so that mens mihi tuus tibi and suns sibi mean my very own your very own his very own "


http://books.google.com/books?id=eAYKAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=sed is quo pacto serviat suo sibi patri&source=bl&ots=s0R0pO-YRe&sig=wSiB9567w0urshgmoR9ds9icB9g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8mbbUNSdK4bgiAKy0YDQDg&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=sed is quo pacto serviat suo sibi patri&f=false


A similar thing is preserved in Russian as well. Plus, the scope of use of those datives in Russian is much much richer.

"Я читаю мне мою книжку" - literally - "Lego mihi meum librum"

This looses the "mihi" in understanding. So it's not that I am reading to me/for my benefit but instead, I am just reading it.
The closest I can think of in English is the Valley Speak "like":

I am like reading my book.

We also use the third person 'sibi' for this (in the first person). "Я читаю себе мою книжку" - "Lego sibi meum librum".

This usage is very common for denoting that I was/am doing something and then soddenly something happened.

In Russian: "I am like "mihi/sibi" reading my book and sister calls me."
"Lego mihi/sibi librum meum et soror me vocat"

Grammatically this is in present tense but it is common for telling past tense stories like that.

Yeah, Russian is not an easy language :)

So I've just begun to read Plautus's Captivi
BTW: Congrats on reading Plautus... :) live language, live expressions. not at all the boring kind of that old fart C. whom I dislike so much :)
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
BTW: Congrats on reading Plautus... :) live language, live expressions. not at all the boring kind of that old fart C. whom I dislike so much :)
I too like Plautus.
It might help you to revise your opinion of Cicero slightly if you were to read Cicero's Caesarian Speeches - A Stylistic Commentary, by Harold C. Gotoff. Gotoff's book really helps to bring out the sophistication and sensitivity of Cicero's art. What's more, the concentration required for unravelling all the linguistic intricacies and convolutions which Gotoff shows these speeches to contain makes the task anything but boring.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
I too like Plautus.
It might help you to revise your opinion of Cicero slightly if you were to read Cicero's Caesarian Speeches - A Stylistic Commentary, by Harold C. Gotoff. Gotoff's book really helps to bring out the sophistication and sensitivity of Cicero's art. What's more, the concentration required for unravelling all the linguistic intricacies and convolutions which Gotoff shows these speeches to contain makes the task anything but boring.
Thanks for the source. I will defensibly take a look.

> sophistication and sensitivity of C's art

I of course said those words (toward the one should not be named) in the last post in jest (partially). I do however long for primitive, vulgar, street like language with all the barbarism of common folk in favor of the strict and written/literary one.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
live language, live expressions. not at all the boring kind of that old fart C. whom I dislike so much :)
Interesting LCF.... do you realise that Ciceros works are one of the most important fundaments of grammar, syntax and prose composition of "classical latin".
In other words, if there was no development of studies of his works (Arnold, D'Ooge, Anton, Alexander, Glindersleeve, Lewis, et allī) there wouldn't be any good study books to teach latin (including LLPSI).

I do however long for primitive, vulgar, street like language with all the barbarism of common folk in favor of the strict and written/literary one.
Petronius wrote in "vulgar latin" and he was not afraight of using heavy-caliber vocabulary
 

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
Thanks guys... but it's only been maybe 15 lines and I'm lost again!! Help!

Plautus dixit:
postquam belligerant Aetoli cum Aleis,

ut fit in bello, capitur alter filius:

medicus Menarchus emit ibidem in Alide.

coepit captivos commercari hic Aleos,

si quem reperire possit qui mutet suom,

illum captivom: hunc suom esse nescit, qui domist.

et quoniam heri indaudivit, de summo loco

summoque genere captum esse equitem Aleum,

nil pretio parsit, filio dum parceret:

reconciliare ut facilius posset domum,

emít hosce e praeda ambos de quaestoribus.
After the Aetolians and the Aleans war,

as can happen in war, the other son is captured:

the doctor Menarchus bought him at that very spot in Elis.

This Alean began to buy and sell captives,

If he could find anyone to trade for his own,

that captive: he doesn't realize that this man in his house is his own.

And because he heard yesterday that from the highest place

and the highest race, an Alean equestrian had been captured,

he (parsit?) for no price, while he would spare his son:

so he might more easily reunite his house,

he bought both of (these same men?) from quaestors with his spoils.

Why is qui in the first bolded part qui and not quem? Am I mistaking the meaning somehow? And as for parsit, is it a form of parcere? It doesn't seem to be, but then again Plautus has been using un-Ciceronian spellings of words for awhile, to my great vexation. I can't make heads or tails of it.

Thanks for your help all, I couldn't get anywhere without it :)
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Interesting LCF.... do you realise that Ciceros works are one of the most important fundaments of grammar, syntax and prose composition of "classical latin".
Of course I do. The obvious shall not be stated amice:) We all understand the influence made on the grammar and prose literature. The Ciceronianism help to preserve the language.
Grand-papa C. has been an incredible source for all grammarians, this is not disputed and he is not being discredited, immo!!!. You must understand my humor. :)

All I am trying to get across is that, barbarism that was in every day speech, and all the nuances of that, is what I want/try/need to learn as much as possible...

EDIT: (So that my humor for the grand-papa is understood)

I should add that formalism and Ciceronianism gave me foundation through hands of grammarians. Thank you. Now I turn my mind to barbarism. Later, I shall return to Ciceronianism with a greater sense and feel for language. I don't follow any specific course layed by a philologist anymore. I am just learning the language and enjoying the process. Hope that makes sense.
 

Adrian

Civis Illustris
Don't worry Amice, I am not attacking you. Rest assure that Grandpa Cicero also used "politically-incorrect" vocabulary (Epistulae ad Familiares).
Moreover, his golden-age colleagues also used "politically-incorrect" vocabulary and wrote "somewhat obscene" phrases:
e.g. Horace Sermones, I.8, l.46 :
nam, displosa sonat quantum vesica, pepedi
diffissa nate ficus; at illae currere in urbem.
From my cleft bum of fig-tree wood I let out a fart, which made as great an explosion as a burst bladder[...]
 
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Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Is it buying and selling or just buying?

The qui is the subject of mutet, so literally it would be something like, to see if he could find someone who would exchange for that, his own captive

Parsit is perfect of parcere
He spared no expense
 

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
You're right about commercari; my go-to dictionary for quick lookup is Wiktionary, which has the unfortunate drawback of occasional inaccuracies, but my hardback says "to buy up."

Thanks for the tip on qui, it makes sense now; I thought the quem was the captive he was hoping to trade, but it was the person with whom he was planning to trade the captive. Makes sense.

And also parsit; I was always taught pepercit! Thanks for the help :)
 

Cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
I think that it could mean to traffic in slaves, but I am wondering which would best fit Aleos' situation
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
About that famous dative LCF talks about, we have the same thing in French sometimes:

Je me lis un livre, je me bois une bière... These are familiar expressions.

In Spanish too: beberse una cerveza...

Actually even in English, you can say "I'll buy me that" or so, no?

However I had no idea until now that the dative could be used in Latin as in sed is quo pacto serviat suo sibi patri. Here in French we couldn't say "comment il s'est un esclave pour son père", it wouldn't make sense.

Well, maybe I'm a little off-topic now but as I know you're interested in French too...
 

Arca Defectionis

Civis Illustris
I don't think this is quite the same though; obviously he's not serving his father as a slave for his own benefit. You could say "Imma drink me a beer" in very colloquial English, but the chief usage is, as you noted, with some form of giving/ buying/ sending. But the difference in "suo patri servire" is that there's already an indirect object. I'm somewhat surprised you can then add a reflexive dative. You could never say *"I'm buying me him a gift," because there's already an indirect object.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
No indeed it's not the same thing, as I said, in the same sentence translated into French, it wouldn't make sense. I'm also surprised, as I told you I didn't know this could happen...

obviously he's not serving his father as a slave for his own benefit.
Actually maybe this is some kind of dativus incommodi, I don't know.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
You could never say *"I'm buying me him a gift," because there's already an indirect object.

Yes, another good example of what I was looking at (What peeked the interested). Some villages, some regions, kids etc... could speak like that and it kinda makes sense "colloquialy" :)

"I'm buying me a gift for him/for his birthday"... me is not understood as an indirect, but as a fortification of buying. Yes I am indeed buying it.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
Ceterum, amice, LCF: tua de Cicerone sententia gravitudine multo maiore erit, cum opera eius iam perlecta habebis, eum bene linguamque optime noveris. Dum factum sit, optimus arbiter non es ;) (quamquam multis in rebus opiniones communes tenemus)

Loquantur praecipue qui noverint... :thumb-up:
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Ceterum, amice, LCF: tua de Cicerone sententia gravitudine multo maiore erit, cum opera eius iam perlecta habebis, eum bene linguamque optime noveris. Dum factum sit, optimus arbiter non es ;) (quamquam multis in rebus opiniones communes tenemus)

Loquantur praecipue qui noverint... :thumb-up:
me ipsum optimum arbiterum non puto. Modo aio de re. :) mihi multumst discendum adhuc, id est verum. sed ut antea dixi; formalis-mente sicut C. nec scribere nec loqui volo. idest amice, hoc tempore non volo, non possum vero :( . Sed veniet tempus... veniet certe!
 
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