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My blood is my brothers

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

  1. IceTBC New Member

    English - USA
    We are seeking the proper translation of this phrase into Latin: "My blood is my brothers". This is in a soldierly or military sense. We want to use the phrase on a crest/icon for our group. One of us who has some Latin suggested this: "sic sanguis meus, sanguine fratribus est" and he said it translated to "thus my blood is my brother's blood". Another suggested " Sanguis Meus Fratris Sanguis". We were hoping for something a little simpler and a more direct translation of "My blood is my brothers". Is the second correct or is there a more proper translation than either?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    What should it mean?
    Do you mean 'My family consists of my brothers-in-arms'?
    Or 'My blood is my brother's blood'?
     
  3. IceTBC New Member

    English - USA
    Hmmm. More 'brothers-in-arms' sense altho many of us consider our group a 'second family'. Sort of a willingness to shed our blood for our brothers (in-arms).
     
  4. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Still unclear what the phrase should mean. Should there be an apostrophe, and if so, where?
    There are three possibilities:

    (1) My blood is my brothers. (My family is nobody else but these brothers of mine.)

    (2) My blood is my brother's. (My blood is also the blood of my brother.)

    (3) My blood is my brothers'. (My blood is also the blood of my brothers.)
     
  5. IceTBC New Member

    English - USA
    3 would be most correct. Sorry if I've misused the apostrophe. I do that often.
     
  6. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    just an idea

    fratribus meis sanguis meus
     
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    This does not seem right to me.
    First of all, I believe the possessive dative needs the verb 'to be'.
    The verb 'to be' is regularly omitted as an ordinary copula, but here it seems necessary to include it in order to make the dative work as intended.
    That would give: fratribus meis sanguis meus est .

    However, this seems to be the wrong sense, in two respects.
    First, what the questioner wants is a phrase expressing a 'willingness to shed our blood for our brothers (in-arms)'.
    However, the dative of possession is saying that the brothers have or own the individual's blood.
    Secondly, the natural conclusion to draw from the idea that your brothers have your blood is that they literally belong to the same family: they have the same blood because they are the same kin.

    It is difficult to find any way of briefly saying " my blood is my brothers' " without creating that impression.
    Some alternative phrase is needed. Hence I would suggest:

    sanguine inter fratres devoto

    This is an ablative absolute literally meaning 'blood having been vowed between brothers'.
    In other words, '(We act) on the basis that we have promised our blood between us brothers'.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  8. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    Actually, I meant this to be a dative of benefit (dativus commodi) , which did get used without a verb , even in classical Latin.
     
  9. Peano Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan
    Here is the literal translation I would suggest:
    SANGVIS MEI EST FRATRVM MEORVM
    ("Blood of mine is of my brothers")
     
  10. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    You'll want a noun adjective agreement here SANGVIS MEVS EST FRATRVM MEORVM , if you go for a literal translation. (of mine = my)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  11. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    That does not seem to work, either, though.
    If the verb to be understood here is est , then surely the dative has to be read as one of possession.
    On the other hand, if a different verb is intended, it cannot reasonably be omitted, since without it there is nothing to indicate what the verbal idea should be.

    fratribus meis profundatur sanguis meus ('let my blood be shed for my brothers') would work as a dative of advantage: but it changes the sense. This is positively asking to shed one's blood, instead of indicating a readiness to do so if necessary.
     
  12. Peano Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan
    Well, you will also want the adjective before the noun, for a truly literal translation: MEVS SANGVIS EST MEORVM FRATRVM ("my blood is my brothers'").

    Anyway I felt it was better to have only sanguis as nominative, and get two genitives compared: mei and fratrum meorum : SANGVIS MEI EST FRATRVM MEORVM ("Blood of mine is of my brothers").
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  13. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    There are no iron-cast rules concerning the position of a word in a Latin sentence (due to its inflection) so having meus sanguis instead of sanguis meus is merely a matter of emphasis.
    In classical Latin at least , number, gender and case of both sanguis and meus (possessive pronoun) would have to be matched. You would not use the genetive of the personal pronoun with sanguis.
    I'm not sure (since my Spanish is quite rusty) but I seem to remember that in Spanish (forgive me if I'm mistaken in this) you might say "...... de mi" instead of "mi....."
    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  14. Peano Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish, Catalan
    Really? According to who?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  15. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    Although Cicero used colloquial style in some of his more intimate letters, I wouldn't say his use of grammar in his letters qualifies as "vulgar Latin" .:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  16. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The difficulty with a literal translation is that it means 'my blood is that of my brothers'.
    In other words, 'we brothers share the same blood', 'we belong to the same family'.

    That is not what the questioner wants to say. This was verified earlier in the thread.
    The message to be expressed is:
     
  17. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    I'm not sure an ablative absolute on its own will do the trick . Still, this is quite a challenging idea.
     
  18. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    An ablative absolute is equivalent to an adverbial clause: cum sanguis inter fratres devotus esset ('given that our blood has been promised between us brothers' or 'on the basis that we brothers have promised our blood to each other'). This presupposes a main verb such as 'we act' or 'we go forward', which should therefore be understood with it.

    Adverbial expressions with a main verb understood are common enough in mottoes.
    Per ardua ad astra [itur] (RAF)
    Deo iuvante [superabimus] (Monaco)
    Nisi Dominus frustra (Clan Inglis) This requires two verbs: Nisi Dominus agit, frustra agitur.
     
  19. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    I don't think you can expect anyone reading this to automatically come up with a suitable main verb like "pergimus".
    Moreover, I'm a bit concerned about the mainly religious overtone of devoveo.

    Even with Deo iuvante, another ablative absolute , one would expect a sentence or at least an adequate phrase.
     
  20. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    All it needs is a verb, as with the other mottoes quoted.
    How else do those mottoes - and many others - work? It seems to be a recognised practice in the formulation of mottoes across the centuries.
    Granted, many readers may not be able to supply such a verb: but many readers may well know no Latin at all.
    Latin mottoes are often accompanied nowadays by a translation or interpretation. This one, unless it is intended to remain obscure, will need that in any case: and that will make this point clear as well.
    The idea is that by agreeing to be ready to shed blood for their brothers, they have committed or dedicated their blood in that sense. Admittedly, it cannot here imply the specific Roman practice of vowing themselves to Dis Manibus.
    Nevertheless, that is the Grimaldi motto on the coat of arms of Monaco. It is a real live example of a traditional motto and thus, I would suggest, a valid pattern.
     
  21. Hamlet2508 Senior Member

    English
    Marcus Tullius Cicero, for starters.
     
  22. CrusaderTBC New Member

    english - vietnamese - german - french
    Hi, I'm one of the members who came up with the original latin motto. My background is about 5yrs of formal latin to assist my main studies of middle english literature. The origin of the motto was derived from the intent of a toast we shared between us. Being a very close knit brotherhood of friends. The original toast was essentially that my own blood is not for me to shed in vain glorious pursuit. Rather, it is to be shed for the benefit of the brotherhood in whatever manner is deemed fit by my brothers in arms. And that our individuals lives were dedicated to the brotherhood (figuratively). And as mentioned, the motto was not meant to imply a direct familial bond or bloodline association.
    I'm thinking this captures the closest essence of the spirit of the motto in regards to the willingness to shed blood. Though its implication is more direct and immediate 'I shed blood' instead of figurative 'I would shed my blood'. Which brings me back to the original motto translation, 'Sic sanguis meus, sanguine fratribus est'. Is this usage still correct in ascribing the intent I have described? Tony
     
  23. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    No, I am afraid it is not. It does not really have a valid Latin meaning.

    How about the earlier suggestion of sanguine inter fratres devoto?
    This means '(We act) on the basis that we have promised our blood between us brothers'.

    Hamlet2508 suggested devoto might not fit because it alludes to the Roman practice of dedicating oneself in battle to the gods of the underworld before charging to certain death against the ranks of the enemy; it was the religious preliminary to a suicide mission.

    If that implication is too strong, then dedicato could be used: sanguine inter fratres dedicato.
    This means the same as indicated above, but does not suggest a suicide attack.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  24. CrusaderTBC New Member

    english - vietnamese - german - french
    I think the insinuation of the first reference: "sanguine inter fratres devoto" appropriately reflects our communal sentiments. So we will go with that choice. Thank you everyone for their input.
     

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