Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oculo Philaenis...

Here is today's distich by Martial, 4.65. Notice here that even though Philaenis is "one-eyed" she weeps from her "other" eye, oculo altero. That is the paradox of the epigram; it's not that Philaenis weeps from her one good eye - instead, she is afflicted with some kind of eye disease that makes her other eye weep all the time. Poor Philaenis! Martial is poking fun at her, but I feel sorry for her.

Oculo Philaenis semper altero plorat.
Quo fiat istud quaeritis modo? Lusca est.

With but one eye Philaenis weeps; how done
If you inquire, know she hath got but one.
- Wright

Here is the vocabulary:

oculus - eye
Philaenis - Philaenis (woman's name)
semper - always
alter - one of two, other, another
ploro - weep
qui - who, which, that
fio - happen, be made
iste - that, that one
quaero - inquire, ask, seek
modus - way, manner
luscus - one-eyed
sum - be, exist

(image source)

No comments:

Post a Comment

(Comments are Google account only, but feel free to contact me directly at laura-gibbs@ou.edu if you do not have a Google account.)