Live Free or Die

Laeta24

New Member
I was trying to figure out the best way to translate this and I even looked at this old thread http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/live-free-or-die.19785/

But I have a bunch of questions. First, wouldn't classical Latin use an Aut...aut construction to denote either this or that, but not both? Are there historical uses of aut by itself?

Also, in translating "free" I assume you could use the adverb form libere (freely), but could you also use the ablative of manner or accordance? For instance "libero" (in a free manner) or "e libero" (in accordance with freedom).

So I would translate it as something like Aut vivite libere aut morimini (I'm using the interrogative since I always read the motto as a command).

I'm very interested to hear the thoughts of others on this who have much more Latin experience than I.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I was trying to figure out the best way to translate this and I even looked at this old thread http://latindiscussion.com/forum/latin/live-free-or-die.19785/

But I have a bunch of questions. First, wouldn't classical Latin use an Aut...aut construction to denote either this or that, but not both? Are there historical uses of aut by itself?
You can use aut ... aut to underline the contrast even more, but I don't see any problem with a single aut.

Also, in translating "free" I assume you could use the adverb form libere (freely), but could you also use the ablative of manner or accordance? For instance "libero" (in a free manner) or "e libero" (in accordance with freedom).
You can use an adverb if you want to say "freely" ... it would have a different ring to it, though, just like in English. It would no longer mean "as a free person". (It would sound a bit like living generously/ open-handedly to me).

If you want to use an ablative, you'd have to have some kind of noun in there ... like libera mente ... or maybe libero modo.

So I would translate it as something like Aut vivite libere aut morimini (I'm using the interrogative since I always read the motto as a command).
You mean the imperative. Pacifica also used the imperative in her suggestion, but she used the singular imperative and a predicative adjective while you are using the plural imperative and an adverb. Your sentence is fine grammatically, just keep in mind that it's plural and the the adverb gives it a different semantic touch.
 
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