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Metamorphoses VI 294

 

cinefactus

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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

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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

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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

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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

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