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Main  ::  Translations - all  ::  Carmen 101 (Carmen 101)

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Posted on Sun Aug 14, 2005 05:48:17  
The translation provided for Catullus 101 is abominable and does not even remotely render a true sense of the meaning and grief of the poem (not to mention entirely ignoring the Latin grammar!). Use this one instead:

Having been carried through many peoples and many seas
I arrive at these sad funeral rites, brother,
So that I might gift you with the final gift of death
And speak in vain to the mute ash,
Since fortune has stolen you yourself from me.
Alas poor brother undeservedly stolen from me,
However meanwhile receive these now,
Which in the ancient custom of our parents
Have been handed down as a sad gift for funeral rites,
Soaking much with fraternal weeping,
And forever, brother, hail and goodbye.
Posted at Thu Apr 20, 2006 16:11:03  Quote
Otherwise I like it, but "I might gift you?" That seems a little unnecessarily archaic.
Posted at Tue Mar 11, 2008 03:23:53  Quote
I enjoy this version best, courtesy of Audrey Beardsley (with some liberties) from "Anthology of World Poetry"-enjoy

By ways remote and distant waters sped,
Brother, to thy sad graveside am I come,
That I may give the last gifts to the dead,
And vainly parley withi thine ashes dumb;
Since She who now bestows and no denies
Hath taken thee, hapless brother, from mine eyes
But lo! these gifts, these heirlooms of past years,
Are made sad things to grace thy coffin shell;
Take them, all drenched with thy brother's tears,
And, brother, for all time and forever, hail and farewell.
Posted at Sun Oct 19, 2008 05:07:08  Quote
I agree that the posted translation is horrid. I tend to prefer more literal translations personally, but I dislike the first suggested alternative for being a little too literal (and thus losing some of the poetic meaning). So, I have whipped up my own translation in the past half-hour, which you might note is fairly similar to the first alternative (and in fact indentical in several places):

Carried through many lands and many seas
I come, brother, to these miserable funeral rites
To give you the final offering of death
And address mute ashes in vain.
Since fortune has taken you yourself from me,
Alas poor brother undeservedly stolen from me,
Now however meanwhile these, which in the ancient custom of our parents
Have been handed down as a sorrowful duty at these funeral rites,
accept, flowing such with brotherly tears,
and into everlasting, brother, hail and farewell.

It's a bit hasty (I've only ever looked at the poem a handful of times before this), but I hope I didn't make any major mistakes. Feel free to correct me.
Posted at Fri Dec 05, 2008 04:18:39  Quote
what is the tense of manantia?

what is the tense of alloquerer-imperfect? According to the strict rules of grammar what should it be?

Is haec accusative, neuter, plural?
Posted at Mon Dec 15, 2008 03:03:34  Quote
  what is the tense of manantia?

what is the tense of alloquerer-imperfect? According to the strict rules of grammar what should it be?

Is haec accusative, neuter, plural?

Manantia is the accusative neuter plural form of the present participle of mano, manare, 'to flow, run, drip'. Hence, the translation: 'these things flowing", "these things dripping". Fletu is the ablative of fletus (long u), hence, things dripping with weeping (ablative of manner).

Alloquerer is imperfect, yes. However, consider: 1. That it is in a 'ut' purpose clause, and 2. That the main clause is constructed with the verb advenio, advenire, which means basically 'to arrive', and that should be translated in the perfect form in English when it appears in present in Latin. Hence, "I have come in order to talk..."

Haec is indeed the accusative neuter plural, "these things", referring to the offerings brought by Catullus to the funerals.

Hope this answers some of your doubts.

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