Thursday, December 1, 2011

Harmonia

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 2.195. This little poem plays on the idea that harmony is created from different sounds, not simply from the same sound over and over - likewise, it takes two different kinds of people, a man and a woman, vir mulierque, to create a new person, homo.

Harmonia
Inter dissimiles voces concordia maior
Quam similes: hominem vir mulierque facit.


HARMONY
Discording Concords best concur in Nature:
So man and woman generate a creature.


The vocabulary is keyed to the DCC Latin Vocabulary list. There are only three words in this poem that are not on the DCC list:

concordia, f. - harmony, agreement
dissimilis, -e; -is - unlike, dissimilar
harmonia f. - agreement of sounds, harmony, concord

faciō facere fēcī factum: do, make
homo hominis m.: human being
inter: between, among; during (+ acc.)
māior -ius: greater, older; maiōres -um: ancestors
mulier -eris f.: woman
quam: how?; (after comparative) than
que (enclitic) - and
similis -e: like, similar
vir virī m.: man
vōx vōcis f.: voice, utterance




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