quoties nil ubi verba valent

Rocit

Member
Multa verba, opera pauca.

Lots of words, little deeds.

In cassum irritas, catulo latrante, Leonem:
Facto opus est, quoties nil ubi verba valent.

In vain you irritate the lion, barking doggy,
Where words are strong / fit, ... the labour's done ... (?)

The whole phrase seems so weird, it doesn't seem to be constructing the sense, does it?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Catulo latrante is ablative, not vocative.

In vain do you irritate a lion with a barking puppy,
Action is needed everytime when words can do nothing.

Perhaps it's weird to have the two relatives quotiens and ubi together like that... Let's wait and see what others think of this.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I was writing pretty much the same thing as PP before she posted:
Catulo latrante is ablative absolute, or perhaps ablative of means, rather than vocative: "With your barking puppy-dog". The last part is something like: "There's always need for action where words have no power."
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Well, it has to be ablative, otherwise it would have been written differently. Most dogs back in those days were hunting dogs, anyway, so I think the presence of a hunter off scene can be inferred easily enough.
 

Rocit

Member
Yep, and my dictionary seems to have grown old-fashioned since it didn't have "when" and "where" and "whenever" for "quoties" (I only saw "how many times")... mea culpa, I should've consulted other dictionaries.
 

Rocit

Member
Well, it has to be ablative, otherwise it would have been written differently. Most dogs back in those days were hunting dogs, anyway, so I think the presence of a hunter off scene can be inferred easily enough.

I guess it may be. I guess it may
Thank you, Masters!
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Yep, and my dictionary seems to have grown old-fashioned since it didn't have "when" and "where" and "whenever" for "quoties" (I only saw "how many times")... mea culpa, I should've consulted other dictionaries.
quoties can't mean "where", that would be ubi. It can mean "whenever/as often as/every time when...". However, as PP mentioned above, the combination of quoties with ubi is odd.
 

illa

Member
It isn't so odd any more if you look at the elegic distichon. You do need ubi to make a dactylic pentameter. The meaning of the message is clearly as said by you all, and even the German traduction is versified:

Viel Worte nichts thun zu der Sachen
Die That die muss das Werck verschaffn

although the modern German text would be slighly different. In those times grammar was less strict.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
However, as PP mentioned above, the combination of quoties with ubi is odd.
Ah, so you think so too. Perhaps they confused it with totiens...? (Reminds me of quam mala mala, where you thought that it was perhaps a mistake for tam.)
although the modern German text would be slighly different. In those times grammar was less strict.
Uh, is there any language whose grammar becomes more strict with time?!
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Ah, so you think so too. Perhaps they confused it with totiens...? (Reminds me of quam mala mala, where you thought that it was perhaps a mistake for tam.
I considered that, too. It's a strange kind of mistake, though.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Not unconceivable. I've seen some do similar ones.
 
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