The mind winged by the words.

Discussion in 'Lingua Latina (Latin)' started by breezeofwater, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. breezeofwater

    breezeofwater Senior Member

    Living in Paris
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Hello all,
    I would like to translate into Latin the following sentence piece:

    The mind winged by the words.
    Anima + verbum + alatus?

    - Anima alata verbis?

    Many thanks for any replies.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  2. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    Unfortunately the phrase 'The mind winged by the words' is not good English.
    It is not clear what you are trying to say.
    Can you express the intended meaning differently?
  3. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    The phrase comes from an exchange in Aristophanes' Birds, ll. 1436ff. (wherein there is lots of word-play about wings, flight, feathers &c.), but probably carries deliberate resonances of Homer's phrase, epea pteroenta, although Aristophanes' word here for "words" is logoi rather than epea.

    The Greek does not mean exactly what the English "By words the mind is winged", however. The Informer asks Peisthetairos to clarify what he means when he says that "One [fellow] says that his son has 'taken wing to tragedy' and his senses have been made to fly about":

    Informer: Then people are equipped with wings by words?
    Peisthet.: For sure, for the mind is elevated through words, and a man is raised up by them. So having equipped you with wings, I want to direct you through noble words to a legitimate occupation.

    A direct translation from the Greek into Latin might then be:

    verbis mens elevatur,et homo effertur.
  4. breezeofwater

    breezeofwater Senior Member

    Living in Paris
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Thank you both very much for your help.
    I’m sorry that I forgot the verb in my sentence: The mind is winged by thewords.

    Scholiast understood exactly wherethat came from: Aristophanes.
    I wish to get a general rendering inLatin.
    By words the mind is winged > The mindis winged by the words mind > Themind is elevated through words.

    Thank youvery much for your precious suggestions; I especially appreciate:
    verbis mens elevator

    Would it be possible in your opinionto replace ‘elevatur’ by ‘alatus’ as an adjective? In my case it's also aquestion of sound as I wish to use in a poem.

    Many thanks.

  5. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Greetings once more (not least seasonal)

    alatus as an adjective unfortunately does not exist. But pennatus ("equipped with wings") does, so grammatically you could say verbis pennata mens, or mens verbis pennata. This might have the extra bonus of a double nuance: penna, "feather", takes on the additional meaning of English "pen", just as "quill" in English also refers primarily to a feather, but comes to mean "pen" because of the use of quills as writing-instruments from late antiquity until the nineteenth century.

    In the context of a poem you have in any case poetic licence to write whatever you will, but also, for discerning readers, the allusion will not be lost. I'd like to read the poem when it is finished.
  6. breezeofwater

    breezeofwater Senior Member

    Living in Paris
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Thank you so much for your help and interst Scholiast. :idea:
    'penna' is indeed a lovely alternative. :)
    So long!

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