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Amor ch'a nullo amato amar perdona

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Fiorentinus, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    Hi everyone/Ciao a tutti/Hola a todos,

    How would you translate the following phrase from the divine comedy by Dante? (from Italian to Latin)
    Come tradurreste voi, dall'italiano al latino, la seguente frase tratta dalla Divina Commedia di Dante?
    ¿Cómo traducirían ustedes, de italiano a latin, la siguiente frase de la Divina Comedia de Dante?

    "Amor ch'a nullo amato amar perdona"

    I unfortunately have little knowledge of latin so I won't even attempt to translate it, sorry.
    Io purtroppo non so bene il latino e non posso dunque darvi un mio tentativo, scusate!
    Yo non conosco muy bien el latin así que no puedo darles una traducción mia, perdonen.

    Spero possiate essermi d'aiuto!
    Espero que me puedan ayudar!
    Hope you can help me!
     
  2. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    First of all, what does the Italian mean?
    Without looking at the context in Dante, I can see two possibilities:

    (a) 'Love, which compels whoever is loved to love in return, ...'
    (b) 'The love which compels whoever is loved to love in return'

    The difference between these is that in (a) the relative clause following 'love' is a descriptive clause, which thus characterises love in general. In other words, this says that all love compels the beloved to love in return.

    On the other hand, in (b) the relative clause is defining a type of love, to distinguish it from other types of love.
    It is specifying that type of love which compels the beloved to love in return. In other words, this means that there is a particular love (more intense, perhaps, or more sincere) which has this characteristic, which is not shared by love in general.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  3. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This famous verse is Inferno V 100. The whole stanza reads:

    Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
    mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
    che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.


    Ciardi’s excellent translation has:

    Love, which permits no loved one not to love,
    took me so strongly with delight in him
    that we are one in Hell, as we were above.
     
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    I would presume from that that the subject of abbandona is amor. The original love still remains.
    But that does not in itself settle my earlier query. Or is the punctuation decisive for that? If so, is the punctuation of the original certain?
     
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Here is a bit more context:

    [FONT=VERDANA, GENEVA, HELVETICA][SIZE=-2]

    Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende,
    prese costui de la bella persona
    che mi fu tolta; e ’l modo ancor m’offende.


    Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
    mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
    che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.


    Amor condusse noi ad una morte.
    Caina attende chi a vita ci spense.
    Queste parole da lor ci fuor porte.

    [/SIZE][/FONT]
    In the light of the third "amor" it seems likely that (whatever the punctuation) the intended meaning is "Love, which ..."
     
  6. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    Thank you for your help, I can tell you that in Italian it means exactly what fdb said:

    Love, who/which permits no loved one not to love [back (the person who loves him/her)]
    took me so strongly with delight in him,
    that we are one in Hell, as we were above.

    The last sentence isn't the exact literal translation but it does mean that.
    Love (Amor) would be the subject of the sentence.

    How would we go about translating this? Thanks again.

    I also think, if it's possible, that it would be better to translate it straight from Italian rather than from English seeing that the meaning might change.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  7. scriptum

    scriptum Senior Member

    Israel
    Israel / Hebrew, Russian
    According to the article in the Wikipedia (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amor,_ch'a_nullo_amato_amar_perdona) the verse is intentionally ambiguous.
    It could be understood either as "which permits no loved one not to love" or as "which forgives no loved one for loving".
    The context seems to allow both interpretations.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    It seems to me, after reading the article, that the second of these alternatives is ruled out by the conclusion of the sentence che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona which says, as I read it, that love has not abandoned Francesca even in Hell.
    This means she is saying that love is not only so strong that it forces a beloved to love in return but is also so strong that it retains its strength under the torture of Hell.
    Seen from a religious standpoint, which was presumably Dante's outlook, this is the attitude of an unrepentant sinner.
     
  9. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    That is what I've understood too, but how would we translate it into latin?
     
  10. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    Anyone want to answer?
     
  11. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    my tuppence

    amor nullum amatum non amare patiens

    hope this helps a bit.
     
  12. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    Shouldn't it be something like:

    Amor, qui/cui nūllī amātō non amāre permittit (?)
    (Amore, che a nullo amato amar perdona)

    Amor = AMOR in the nominative since it's the subject = Amore (in Italian).
    qui/cui = QUI in the nominative case or CUI in the dative case, I'm not sure about this one = che (in Italian).
    nūllī amātō = NULLUS AMATUS in the dative case to represent the indirect object of the latin verb "permittō" = a nullo amato (in Italian).
    non amāre = in the infinitive since it's the thing which love does not allow = non amare (in Italian).
    permittit = the 3rd person singular present indicative of the latin verb "permittō" = perdona (fig. permette) in Italian.

    That's my reasoning but seeing that I'm not very familiar with Latin I would need confirmation from someone who knows the language very well.

    As I pointed out earlier I'm not sure what case QUI (Italian = che) should be in. Thank you so much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  13. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    Your translation is perfectly fine. (apart from cui, which would be wrong here)
    It should read Amor, qui nulli amato non amare permittit
    I just wanted to do without the relative clause/relative pronoun and used the present participle of the deponent verb patior,pati,passus sum which also means allow,permit instead to make the part of the sentence shorter.
     
  14. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This is good Latin, but I am not sure that it captures the letter or the spirit of Dante’s verse. I was thinking of something very literal, something along the lines of:

    Amor (qui) nullum amatum amare excusat,

    but I am not certain that excusare + acc. + inf. is ever actually used to mean “exempt someone from doing something”. I am looking forward to hearing the comments of others.
     
  15. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    Thank you all for your suggestions. Fdb, I'm not sure about the excusare + acc. + infinitive either. Like I said before, I'm not very familiar with the Latin language. If anyone else has any suggestions they would be appreciated. Otherwise I'll accept any of the ones you gave me thus far. Thanks Hamlet2508 for helping me out.
     
  16. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Putting it slightly differently:

    amor qui invicem omnem amare cogit amatum

    Literally: love which forces every beloved to love in turn

    invicem (in turn) could be omitted.

    I do not believe excusare can work here in the way already questioned.
    I would have expected neminem in place of nullum, making that the pronoun and amatum the adjective.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  17. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    That's a very good one too, thank you. But Wandle, say we were going for a more literal translation would Amor, qui nulli amato non amare permittit work? I mean, since "excusare" doesn't work with the infinitive of "amo" I'm wondering if it's like that with "permittere". Would this translation be correct latin?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  18. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Русский
    By the way, why "back"=>"the person who loves him/her"? That would be simply untrue! There is nothing in the nature of love that prevents anyone loved by someone from loving back another person, not the same person that loves him/her! Well, I am in no way certain of the meaning of the Italian verse, but at least this is the logic of the world...

    Well, the question is, whether the verse was a general introductory statement (in which case my interpretaion is more likely), or it deals only with the specific case of love, discussed in the specific cantos (which makes right your interpretation). I do not know, which interpretation was Dante's...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  19. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    With permitto, a ne-clause may be better:

    amor qui amato non permittit ne rursus amet

    Another possibility is with parcere:

    amor qui nemini parcet quin amatum cogat amare

    Literally: love, who spares no one but that he forces him when loved to love (awkward-sounding in English, but not in Latin).
     
  20. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    Dante himself uses permictit in some of his Latin work.
    As for the use of permittere with infinitive or accusative and infinitive , both structures are correct.
    If you , however, put the emphasis on the negation of the verb (non permittit doesn't allow) Wandle certainly has a point when using "ne". :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  21. Fiorentinus Junior Member

    Firenze
    Spagnolo Argentino
    While it definitely seems to be a questionable statement, this is actually one of the more generally accepted interpretations. That when a person loves another, the person being loved can't help but feel a certain sense of "curiosity" towards that person, a feeling that eventually morphs into love. I'm Italian and I studied the Divine Comedy thoroughly in various academic institutions I've attended throughout my secondary education so although it definitely sounds strange I'm quite certain that this is one (of many) possible interpretation(s) and the one I favor the most. In fact, I believe that Dante might have been trying to refer not only to the love felt by two lovers but all types of love, filial, friendly, etc.
    The "loving back the person who loves you" part is mostly evidenced by the lines that follow the one we're attempting to translate which read "mi prese del costui piacere sì forte / che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona" --> "love, that permits no loved one from loving back took me so strongly with joy in him that even now (in the afterlife) we're together".

    Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende,
    prese costui de la bella persona
    che mi fu tolta; e ’l modo ancor m’offende.

    Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
    mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
    che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.

    Amor condusse noi ad una morte.
    Caina attende chi a vita ci spense.
    Queste parole da lor ci fuor porte.


    Thank you for the advice. I am not however putting a negative emphasis on permittit but rather on amare (non amare permittit). And I think I will actually use permictit seeing that Dante preferred it over permittit. Thanks again for all the help everyone.
     
  22. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    Русский
    I see. :)

    Well, for the sake of raising doubts I'll try to explain what I was thinking of.

    Love is one of the forces, that make us to forget the God and the good thinking, and eventually lead us into the hell, while a very beautiful force of this kind; the nature of this force is pervasive (or so it seems to Francesca), and no one, who can be loved (that is, no person in the world, dead or alive) is able to escape the danger and beauty to be loving. So is the essence of love; and Francesca is telling, what the force of such spirit has done to them.

    So I understood this verse (of course, intuitively, I didn't make such analysis!), when I first read it in the Russian translation by Mikhail Lozinskiy. As far as I can see, nothing in the Italian words turns wrong this interpretation, although I cannot boast I can see very far. ;) But at least, I like very much such interpretation (rendered by wandle in the #19, the second attempt, AFAIU), and I like very much the repetetion of the root amor/amar, that emphasises the omniwinning nature of love, as well as its beauty and danger (this repetetion was rendered by Lozinskiy, too).

    Regards!
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  23. CapnPrep Senior Member

    France
    AmE
    I'm not sure I would recommend this, but I guess it depends on the purpose of your translation. Also keep in mind that we have no documents written in Dante's hand, so there's no way to be sure that he would really have preferred this non-etymological spelling (which was indeed very widespread in Italy during this period).
     
  24. XiaoRoel

    XiaoRoel Senior Member

    Vigo (Galiza)
    galego, español
    Amor qui omnem amatum ad amare compellit.
     
  25. stevelogan Junior Member

    Milan
    Italian

    The interpretation of this quote is notoriously difficult and debated in Italian commentaries.
    There are two main transliterations: "The love (given by the bridal status of Francesca) that does not allow to love any other (e.g. Paolo) "...
    And the second one: "Love (which) even if not returned consent us (perdona, Dante = excusat, Lat.) to love".

    The first one is close to the complex and official figure of Dante and the fact that love has many facets: the bridal love, the god's love, the pious love, the erotic and natural impulses of love, the courtly love, etc.
    The second seems closer to the contest of the Vth Canto. Paolo and Francesca are both in the Inferno in eternal damnation, but they are together (..ancor non m'abbandona). Their forbidden love is not excused in front of God, but surely is very strong and has Dante's and our natural simpathy. Also, Dante was a poet of "courtly love" and a promoter of the "Dolce Stil Novo" (sweet new style), so he might not be insensitive to the Paolo and Francesca love situation; then he surely wanted to leave in his masterpiece a trace of his poetical interests in the court style and in the "Dolce Stil Novo" way.
    So, of the two, the better transliteration seems to be to me: "the love (that) allow us to love someone even if we are not loved by in return...", as you actually wrote.

    In that sense your Latin translation "Amor qui nullum amatum (nullo amato?) amare excusat" seems far better; it catches the spirit (and the syntax) of the original thoughts of Dante, I think. "Excusat" in Latin actually means "to not exempt someone from... ". You can compare it with the well reknown motto "(Lex) ignorantia non excusat, i.e. "the law doesn't admit that you ignore laws".
    And we also have to think that Dante had models in the Classic Latin poetry besides the Courtly French poetry of the XIIIth century. Dante was used to write and "think" in Latin as a literate person. And he was quite impressively educated.

    Hence, "Amor qui nullum amatum (/nullo amato) amare excusat" seems not only the best Latin translation, but also it catches the original syntactical structure of the Latin thoughts that seem hidden behind this otherwise obscure Italian verse.

    So, I vote for: "Amor (qui) nullum amatum (nullo amato?) amare excusat" :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012

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