Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cum tua non edas...

465     -     466     -     467

Here is another distich by Martial, 1.91:

Cum tua non edas, carpis mea carmina, Laeli;
carpere vel noli nostra vel ede tua.

Thou blam'st my verses and conceal'st thine own:
Or publish thine, or else let mine alone! (Anon. 1695)

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:

Laelius - Laelius

carmen -inis n.: song
cum: with (prep. + abl.); when, since, although (conjunction + subj.)
ēdō ēdere ēdidi ēditum: put forth, state, explain
meus -a -um: my
nōlō nōlle nōluī: be unwilling
nōn: not
noster nostra nostrum: our
tuus -a -um: your
vel: or else, or; even; vel . . . vel: either… or


  1. There is an alternative choice of verbs when translating this poem. One still maintains the spirit of the thing. I agree with edas as the imperative of edo, edare, edidi, editus but ede is the imperative of edo edere, edi, esus meaning, eat, consume, devour, or destroy. In that case, the second line reads "either refuse to tear down our poems or destroy yours"

    1. In the context of poems, I'm not sure that the eating metaphor really makes sense to me, and the meter is in trouble, too - ēde scans, but ede does not scan. Of course, it could have felt like a bit of a pun at the time - I wish we had a hotline to Martial so we could call him up and ask!


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