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"He who offends Love is against the gods"

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Casquilho, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    In Plato's Symposium, Aristophanes says that "He who offends Love is against the gods". I attempted to translate this beautiful phrase to Latin, but I'm not sure about it. Here's my try:

    Contra deos is est qui Amorem offendit.

    However, my grammar book gives an example pertaining relative pronouns which puzzles me: Is est pater quem iustae nuptiae demonstrant, "He is a [good] father which appoints the legitimate marriage". Why my grammar uses quem instead of qui? Am I wrong, or is my grammar wrong?

    Can you help me with that?
     
  2. Joca

    Joca Senior Member

    Florianópolis, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I think your translation is fine, but I would prefer this order:

    Contra deos est is qui amorem offendit.
     
  3. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    http://www.hhhh.org/perseant/libellus/aides/allgre/allgre.305.html
    "A Relative agrees with its Antecedent in Gender and Number; but its Case depends on its construction in the clause in which it stands"
     
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The English version quoted here is a very loose translation. Why not have a go at the original? Plato, Sym. 193a-b:
    ἀλλὰ τούτων ἕνεκα πάντ᾽ ἄνδρα χρὴ ἅπαντα παρακελεύεσθαι εὐσεβεῖν περὶ θεούς, ἵνα τὰ μὲν ἐκφύγωμεν, τῶν δὲ τύχωμεν, ὧν ὁ Ἔρως ἡμῖν ἡγεμὼν καὶ στρατηγός. ᾧ μηδεὶς ἐναντία πραττέτω (πράττει δ᾽ ἐναντία ὅστις θεοῖς ἀπεχθάνεται).
     
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Jowett's translation of the last phrase is:

    Love is to us the lord and minister; and let no one oppose him - he is the enemy of the gods who opposes him.

    I suggest (a bit more litterarly):

    Eros is for us leader and general. Let no one oppose him, for whoever opposes the gods becomes hateful to them.

    [In both cases taking ὅστις as the subject of πράττει. ]
     
  6. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    fdb, I thank you for your learned translation. However, my knowledge of Greek is insignificant, furthermore I don't insist in a literal translation of what Aristophanes says; that slight change I've made purposedly, in order to make the phrase a kind of aphorism apart from the context, i. e. Aristophanes' discourse.

    "A Relative agrees with its Antecedent in Gender and Number; but its Case depends on its construction in the clause in which it stands"
    Quiviscumque, as usually I thank your help. Let me see if I get it: the verb demonstrant refers to iustae nuptiae, a subject in plural, and quem is in accusative because it's the direct object of demonstrant?

    Thank you all.
     
  7. Quiviscumque

    Quiviscumque Moderator

    Ciudad del paraíso
    Spanish-Spain
    :tick:
     
  8. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The sense here seems to be different from the interpretations above.
    Fowler's translation reads:

    'Let none in act oppose him—and it is opposing him to incur the hate of Heaven'

    This does not at first sound very logical, but it does reflect the structure of the Greek,
    literally: 'he acts against him who is hated by the gods'.

    In other words, the being hated by the gods comes first in definition.
    It precedes logically the act of opposing Eros, and does not follow as a consequence of that.

    Thus if we take 'He opposes Eros who is hated by the gods' then in Latin (bearing in mind that the Greek Eros was, for the Romans, Cupid) this would be:

    Is Cupidini resistit qui diis odio est
    literally, 'That man opposes Cupid who is an object of hate to the gods'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I agree that it seems grammatically more straightforward to make ὅστις the subject of ἀπεχθάνεται, but I do not see that this makes any sense. The sense seems to be: Eros is a god - whoever opposes any one of the gods incurs divine wrath - so do not oppose Eros. It was suggested, I think by Usener, that πράττει δ᾽ ἐναντία ὅστις θεοῖς ἀπεχθάνεται is an allusion to some otherwise lost fragment of poetry; this would explain the unexpected word order. As for Fowler: to translate “the gods” by “heaven” is an obvious manipulation.
     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    So, with the change of subject your excellent latinisation becomes:

    Quisquis Cupidini resistit diis odio est

    or, if we wish to retain the ambiguity of the original:

    Cupidini resistit quisquis diis odio est

    Both with quisquis as the exact equivalent of ὅστις.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  11. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    I can only say all the points in posts 9 and 10 are very well made.
    Cupidini resistit quisquis diis odio est is an elegant solution.

    The idea of a possible poetical reference seems very plausible.
    πράττει δ᾽ ἐναντία ὅστις θεοῖς ἀπεχθάνεται is almost a pentameter.

    The point of the expression would presumably be that the only sort of person who opposed Eros would be one hated by the gods: a somewhat different perspective than that of Westboro Baptist Church...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012

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