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Carmen 41 (in English by Abi Thompson)
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Available in Latin, Brazilian Port., Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Scanned, and Spanish. Compare two languages here.
Ameana, the well-worn prostitute,
demanded the whole 10,000 from me
this girl with the ugly nose,
friend of the indebted man of Formianus.
Relatives, to whom the girl is of concern,
call together doctors and friends:
the girl is not sane, nor is she accustomed to ask
for bronze reflective of her looks.


Notes:
"well-worn prostitute": lit. a girl tired-out by sex (puella defututa could also mean "well fucked girl", beacuse while defututa literally means worn out by sex, it has more implications taken in context of the time, during which it was used by the young in the same manner modern Americans use the word "fuck".)

Ref. to 10,000 ses. that Ameana presumably charged Catullus for her services.

"ugly nose": turpiculo naso, turpiculo being in the diminuitive, might I add, and meaning "indecent".. ugly seems to be the better english word choice, though.

"indebted man...": ref. to Mammura, indebted from the latin decoctorislit. cooked-out.

"Relatives..... call...": convocate is an imperative.. someone in our 351 class suggested "call 911!" as a more modern translation but I chose to keep it's ancient intergity..

A problem exists, however, with the last 2 lines, which translates more literally to:
the girl is not sane, nor to ask
is she accustomed: what she looks like of the mirror.
However, the poem does not flow in english like it does in latin with the break after rogare, thus I have fixed the english syntax problems in my translation. To comment on my changes in the last line, I believe Catullus meant to say that she was not accustomed to asking for what she is really worth... that is to say, bluntly, she's too ugly to pay 10,000 ses. for, someone should hand that girl a mirror! My use of 'reflective bronze' in the last line refers to both a mirror and monetary compensation.
© copyright 23-9-1999 by Abi Thompson
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