ne quid inexpertum frustra moritura relinquat

itaque

Member
I am attempting to understand these lines from the Aeneid, book 4, regarding Dido:
ire iterum in lacrimas, iterum temptare precando
cogitur et supplex animos summittere amori,
ne quid inexpertum frustra moritura relinquat.
I've tried to construct the literal translation:
She is compelled again to go into tears, again to try with praying,
and, kneeling, to submit her spirit to her love,
lest she, who [is] about to die in vain, be left behind.
That's my best attempt, but I think there are some problems:
  1. Have I translated "precando" = "with praying" correctly? If so, what is meant by this?
  2. Have I translated "amori" = "to her love" correctly? If so, what is meant by this?
  3. I think there's a lot wrong with my third line, but I can't find a better way to translate it (namely, I translated relinquat in the passive voice).
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
I am not sure what the context is but animos seems rather to refer to those she is praying. Relinquat is active and she is the subject, inexpertum agrees with quid.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Have I translated "precando" = "with praying" correctly? If so, what is meant by this?
"By praying", or perhaps more adequately in this context, "by begging", "with entreaties"...
Have I translated "amori" = "to her love" correctly? If so, what is meant by this?
The "her" isn't needed. I think it means she's forced to submit her spirits to love, i.e. to humiliate herself for love's sake.
I think there's a lot wrong with my third line, but I can't find a better way to translate it (namely, I translated relinquat in the passive voice).
Literally: lest (ne) she, about to die in vain (frustra moritura), leave (relinquat) anything (quid) untried (inexpertum). Better rephrased: lest she leave anything untried before dying in vain.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I am not sure what the context is but animos seems rather to refer to those she is praying.
It could be so (Aeneas's, probably) but it didn't feel 100% right to say that she was forced to submit Aeneas's spirits... since she didn't — she failed. It could be some poetic licence, though, I guess.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
Yeah Pacifica was right about the animos part, I should have looked at the context. Sorry, I thought she was begging someone there.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I haven't looked at much of the context either, so I could be wrong.
 

Laurentius

Civis Illustris
I haven't looked at much of the context either, so I could be wrong.
Maybe you are right and it could be both I guess. To submit her pride to love or to have him subject his mind to their love. Or maybe both since it's plural (I don't think so though)? But since it is not dependant on any verb like temptare or conari and it seems something she is doing for certain the first interpretation seems more likely I think, so she humiliates herself by begging again.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
But since it is not dependant on any verb like temptare or conari and it seems something she is doing for certain the first interpretation seems more likely I think, so she humiliates herself by begging again.
That was my reasoning at least.
 
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