Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Vladimir Nimčević, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Vladimir Nimčević Member

    Novi Sad
    I am interesting in the meaning of the word offensa in this context.

    Cur enim ullam reputet iustae severitatis offensam imperator qui quod fecit tueri potest?
  2. asanga Member

    The preceding sentence helps:

    reges ipsos Franciae ... non dubitasti ultimis punire cruciatibus, nihil veritus gentis illius odia perpetua et inexpiabiles iras. cur enim ullam reputet iustae severitatis offensam imperator qui quod fecit tueri potest?

    You did not hesitate to punish even the kings of the Franks ... with extreme tortures, without fearing the perpetual hatred and inexpiable rage of that tribe. For why should an emperor who can defend his actions [also implied: can protect against retaliation] consider it any violation of his just severity?

    Offensa is used in a standard way as an offence or violation of the law, a crime. The emperor should not consider torturing the Frankish kings to death a crime, because 1) they deserved it and 2) (as is explained later in the passage) it is better to be feared than loved: haec est enim vera virtus ut non ament et quiescant.
  3. Vladimir Nimčević Member

    Novi Sad
    Thanks for answering! :)

    I thought that reputo (in this context) mean to reckon, think over.
  4. asanga Member

    I tried to think of a translation that would distinguish reputet from putet, but had difficulties. Reckon it a violation sounds like an archaic (or Southern US) equivalent to consider it a violation. Reflect/look back on a violation suggests that Constantine accepts that the executions were an offence, but that as a successful emperor he doesn't need to worry about the past.

    Other difficult words to translate:

    Ultimis cruciatibus. Maybe ultimate, final, or deadly tortures would be better. Or translate less literally as "to punish by torturing them to death."

    Tueri. It's very hard to capture the multiple plays on words. There's the play on tueor as "to regard, look at, examine" (an emperor who can look back on his actions without shame) and "to protect, defend" (an emperor who can protect the empire against retaliations for his actions) . Then the next sentence begins with tuta clementia, where tuta is intended as a negative, "playing it safe, cautious = cowardly, unmanly".
  5. Vladimir Nimčević Member

    Novi Sad
    As for Ultimis cruciatibus, I translated it in Serbian as najgorim mukama (literary: with the worst torments).

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