Tuesday, December 20, 2011


458     -     459     -     460

Here is today's distich by John Owen, with an English translation by Thomas Harvey, 4.225. This epigram plays on the traditional legend (here, fabula) that Homer was blind - so he never saw the light, although his writings do so even now! For more about the ancient legends of Homer's blindness, see this Wikipedia article.

Si vera est de te quae fertur fabula, nunquam
Vidisti lucem, sed tua scripta vident.

If that be true, which some of thee do write,
Thou never sawst, thy Books yet see the Light.

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:

If the story (si fabula) that they tell about you (quae fertur de te) is true (vera est), you never (nunquam) saw the light (vidisti lucem), but your writings (tua scripta) see it (vident).

Homerus - Homer

dē: down from, about, concerning (+ abl.)
fabula -ae f.: account, tale, story
ferō ferre tulī lātum: bear, carry
lūx lūcis f.: light of day
numquam: never
qui quae quod: who, which, what / quis quid: who? what? which?
scrībō scrībere scrīpsī scrīptum: write
sed: but
sī: if
sum, esse, fuī: be, exist
tū tuī tibi tē: you (sing.)
tuus -a -um: your
vērus -a -um: true; vērē, truly
videō vidēre vīdī vīsum: see