Dextra gladius, laeva scutum, corpore honor

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Epilio, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Epilio

    Epilio Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain

    Just to confirm: are dextra, laeva and corpore locative ablative?.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bibax Senior Member


    (ā) dextrā (parte) = on the right;
    (ā) laevā (parte) = on the left;
    (ā) sinistrā (parte) = on the left;

    ad dextram, dextrorsum = to the right;
  3. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    They are all indeed ablative, but to describe them as "locative" falls prey to the pedantic grammarian's need or desire to classify and categorise everything ("dative of disadvantage", "ablative of description", "objective genitive" &c.).

    This is a splendid instance of the remarkable capacity of Latin to convey with epigrammatic economy a clear sense, without the need for anatomical dissection of the precise syntax:"With blade in the right hand, shield on the left, and renown in the physique" - however "accurate" as a translation - cannot convey the rhetorical force of this motto.

  4. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Or more precisely, as Scholiast's translation suggests, given the nature of the objects mentioned (sword and shield):
    [in] dextrā [manū]
    [in] laevā [manū]

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