sine fraude crinis (Horace)

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by Casquilho, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello again guys. I’m with a new problem with Horace, on his Ode 2, 19 (to Bacchus), what does he mean with “sine fraude crinis” here:

    tu separatis uvidus in iugis
    nodo coerces viperino
    Bistonidum sine fraude crinis.

    Of the many meanings of “fraus”, none seems to make much sense with reference to “crinis”, or locks of hair. Can you help me to find the proper translation of these lines?
  2. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Look more specifically for the expression sine fraude, which is in reference not to crinis, but to nodo viperino.
  3. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I found this translation online and it agrees with CapnPrep's explanation:

    "and on distant summits, you drunkenly tie
    the hair of the Bistonian women,
    with harmless knots made of venomous snakes."
  4. Casquilho Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    That makes more sense, I guess. Still it seems a bit strange that Horace remarks that the knots are harmless, though they're made with vipers. Maybe he's saying that Bacchus can tame the ferocious forces of nature?
  5. scopros New Member

    Gahanna, OH USA
    Spanish-So. America
    Yes, it makes sense:

    "sine fraude" = with no evil, no fraud He (Bacchus) "weaves snakes without malice in the hair locks (crinis, like the word 'crin' in Spanish for a horse's mane!) of the women
  6. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Yes, or rather he takes it for granted that Bacchus has such power in this case.
    Fraus does not only mean deceit or malice. It also has a distinct sense of 'damage', 'injury' or 'penalty'.

    The phrase sine fraude is an established one in this sense: 'without harm', 'without penalty'. The meaning is that while the Bacchantes (the female followers of Bacchus, referred to here as Bistonides) have to accept the fact that snakes are knotted into their hair, they do not suffer any harm as a result.

    Here is an ancient Greek portrayal of one such lady. She is quite unperturbed by her serpentine hairpiece while preparing to dine on raw leopard.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014

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