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Catullus Forum

Main  ::  Translations - all  ::  Problem with carmina 70 and 76 (Uncategorized)

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AuthorMessage
Max
Posted on Sun May 07, 2006 20:54:33  
I'm studying these two poems for GCSE. It's been a great experience, but I can't work out a few bits.

Firstly in 70, it seems unclear who the subject of oportet is. My class went with mulier, as it is nominative, but of course oportet takes an accusative, but I can't see what it could be. AJ Robinson's translation on this site says "he ought to write", perhaps as a proof to her. If it is "she ought to write", it could be her making a promise. Also, what do the wind and water mean. As they are fluid, is it said ironically, suggesting that such a promise would be worthless. Or maybe Catullus is implying the eternal quality of these two Greek elements.

Now on to the complicated stuff. Lines 17-18, (aut...opem). This whole bit is unclear. How should extremam be translated, where does iam fit, and should in be translated "on the bink of".
Lines 21-22, "quae...laetitias". Is the mihi a possessive for imos, or is it an indirect object of subrepens? "in artus", this means "into limbs". Are the joys (laetitias) going from the heart (ex pectore) into the limbs, or is it the creeping (subrepens) into the limbs.
Line 12, quod non potis est. quod could be either which or because, and non potis est could be either she cannot or it is not possible.

My thanks in advance to anyone who can help me.
Guest
Posted at Fri May 12, 2006 12:49:31  Quote
Hello, I believe I can help with the Carmen 70 question:

Oportet can also be an impersonal verb, so it can be translated as "it is proper to write in wind and rapid water". I believe Catullus is saying that a woman's words to her lover are not trustworthy.
Max
Posted at Wed May 17, 2006 23:18:04  Quote
Thanks "guest". Exam's coming up so if anyone else wants to help me with the rest of the problems......
 


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