Monday, February 27, 2012

Prophetae, Poetae

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 1.31. This is another one of Owen's elegant little parallel comparisons: the prophet speaks true things about the future, while the poet speaks falsely about the past!

Prophetae, Poetae
Illi de rebus praedicere vera futuris;
Hi de praeteritis dicere falsa solent.

Prophets of Things to come the Truth predict:
But Poets of Things past write false and fict.

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

prophēta, prophētae m. - soothsayer, prophet

dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
dīco dīcere dīxī dictum: say; causam dicere, plead a case; diem dicere, appoint a day
falsus -a -um: deceptive, false
hic, haec, hoc: this; hōc, on this account
ille, illa, illud: that
poēta -ae m.: poet
praedīco -ere -dīxī -dictum: foretell; advise, admonish
praetereo -īre -iī -itum: pass, pass over
rēs reī f.: thing (rēs pūblica, commonwealth; rēs familiāris, family property, estate; rēs mīlitāris, art of war; rēs novae, revolution)
soleo -ēre -uī -itum: be accustomed
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
vērus -a -um: true; vērē, truly 

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