dedit temperamentum

mccaskey

Member
In Renaissance writings on metallurgy, temperamentum means a mixture of metals, especially a proper mixture.

In the following (Agricola, De Natura Fossilium, 1543), a fire at Corinth mixed three metals and resulted in three kinds of Corinthian copper.

Nam incensa Corintho aurum, argentum, aes in unum confluxerant, tribusque aeris Corinthii generibus fortuna dedit temperamentum.

Is temperamentum the subject of dedit? But then I would expect the three kinds of copper to be in the accusative, not dative or ablative.

Or is the fire the subject of dedit and temperamentum the direct object? Is then tribus aeris generibus a kind of ablative?

Thanks all!
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Fortuna is the subject, temperamentum the object, and tribus generibus is dative.
 

mccaskey

Member
A dative meaning what something is good for? Good luck produced a mixture appropriate to the three kinds of Corinthian copper.

That would work.

Thanks!
 
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Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The dative tribus generibus is the indirect object of dedit, i.e. what fortuna gave the temperametum to.

tribusque aeris Corinthii generibus fortuna dedit temperamentum = literally "and chance gave (their) blend to the three kinds of Corinthian copper", that is, chance produce those blends, chance invented the recipe, so to speak.
 
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