Metamorphoses VI 294

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
ōraque compressit, nisi postquam spīritus ībat

one of the translations has, she didn't close her mouth until after her spirit had departed.

I must admit I can't get that meaning out of it—in fact I would have got the opposite impression.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You're right. Ora compressit must mean "she closed her mouth" rather than "she didn't close her mouth".

Also, I would have said "was departing", because the verb is in the imperfect. While postquam + perfect means "after this was done (or had been done)", postquam + imperfect usually means "after/when this was happening", i.e. after it had started happening and while it was still happening.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
One source noted that someone had bracketed this line so it may be corrupt.

I can't figure out what the nice is supposed to be doing either. Can you make any sense of it?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I guess that's autocorrect for nisi.

ōraque compressit, nisi postquam spīritus ībat = and she kept her mouth shut, except after/when her spirit/breath was going away. Basically, she kept her mouth shut until she opened it to give up the ghost.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
Thanks. I didn't realise you could use nisi to mean except without another negative.
 
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