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Horatius: De arte poetica

Katarina

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I am trying to understand well that part:

et fortasse cupressum
scis simulare: quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes

navibus, aere dato qui pingitur?

So first I would try to reorder it:
si [is] qui pingitur aero dato enatat expes fractis navibus.
I understand it as: if the one being painted for the given money (ablative of price??) hopelessly swims out of the broken ships (how can he be swimming out of many ships? anyway, I understand that as ablative of origine).
 

Pacifica

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if the one being painted for the given money (ablative of price??)
I guess it's half ablative absolute half ablative of price. "The one who is painted with money having been given" or "for money having been given"... in English you can simply say "for money", or reword the clause as "who paid to have himself painted/to have his portrait made".
how can he be swimming out of many ships?
It's possible that the man would have been sailing with a whole fleet, but I'd tend to take it as a poetic plural (plural in form, singular in meaning). But the meaning is perhaps not exactly "from" (see below).
anyway, I understand that as ablative of origine
I'd take it as an ablative absolute.
 

Katarina

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in verbis etiam tenuis cautusque serendis
hoc amet, hoc spernat promissi carminis auctor.


So what I've got is:
The subject is promissi carminis auctor, meaning: the author of promised poem. Or could it be an author of a published poem (as to put out - to the public)?
this should? he love, that despise
in the words that are small (in a sence of modest?) and combined.
And I have no idea what to do with cautus. Gramatically it could only modify the word auctor but it seem to me too far and it is somehow trapped with the -que in the phrase talking about words ...
 

Pacifica

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Both tenuis and cautus refer to auctor.
 

Katarina

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si forte necesse est
indiciis monstrare recentibus abdita rerum et
fingere cinctutis non exaudita Cethegis,
continget dabiturque licentia sumpta pudenter,
et nova fictaque nuper habebunt verba fidem, si
Graeco fonte cadent parce detorta.


I am not sure how to understand this word. The phrase is licentia contiget et dabitur, so the licence is ______ and given. My commentary suggests me to understand it as ''to succeed'' but I don't know what would it mean that ''the licence will succeed''. However, I haven't found anything that would sound better than this.
 

Katarina

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ut silvae foliis pronos mutantur in annos,
prima cadunt: ita ...


As the woods are changed by leaves in bent (declining?) years, first sth. fall ....

How to understand that?
 

Pacifica

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The phrase is licentia contiget et dabitur
That was what I thought at first, but now I'm no longer sure. Maybe only dabitur goes with licentia and continget refers to what comes before.
My commentary suggests me to understand it as ''to succeed''
Continget doesn't differ much in meaning from dabitur; it means to fall to one's lot, to be granted to one... Maybe "succeed" is a good translation in this context if continget refers to what comes before, as I said, rather than to licentia.
ut silvae foliis pronos mutantur in annos,
prima cadunt: ita ...


As the woods are changed by leaves in bent (declining?) years, first sth. fall ....

How to understand that?
"As the woods are changed in (respect to their) leaves toward the declining years (i.e. as the woods change leaves as the years decline/pass), the first (leaves) fall..."
 

Katarina

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That was what I thought at first, but now I'm no longer sure. Maybe only dabitur goes with licentia and continget refers to what comes before.

Continget doesn't differ much in meaning from dabitur; it means to fall to one's lot, to be granted to one... Maybe "succeed" is a good translation in this context if continget refers to what comes before, as I said, rather than to licentia.
so continget monstrare et fingere... ? That indeed could work.
 

Pacifica

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Implicitly, yes. Monstrare and fingere of course go with necesse est, but the subject of continget could be an "it" referring back to them.
 

Katarina

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I will do a guess:
singula quaeque locum teneant sortita decentem.
Rearranged: singula quaeque sortita teneant locum decentem.
Each single [species of literature] - whatever [form] was alloted to it - should retain the decent position.
is quaeque sortita ablative absolute? Or just an apposition? Or what is it?
 

Pacifica

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is quaeque sortita ablative absolute?
No, it's neuter nominative plural (note that quaeque can't be ablative).

"Let every single thing keep the appropriate place that was allotted to it" or, more literally, "keep the appropriate place [after] having been allotted [it]".
 

Katarina

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...audi,
si plausoris eges aulaea manentis et usque
sessuri, donec cantor 'vos plaudite' dicat.


That could be Nominative or Accusative plural, I suppose it is the second one. But I am not sure why. From the commentary I see it means people staying for the curtain to fall. But can Accusative mean for something? I mean with a lot of mental workout I can imagine it as Accusative of purpose. What is that?
 

Pacifica

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That could be Nominative or Accusative plural, I suppose it is the second one.
Yes.
But I am not sure why. From the commentary I see it means people staying for the curtain to fall. But can Accusative mean for something? I mean with a lot of mental workout I can imagine it as Accusative of purpose. What is that?
It's the direct of manentis (which in this context means "waiting for").
 

Katarina

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spe longus

Here I found something interesting. I found two theories in dictionaries about the meaning of that phrase.
First theory says that this means: tardus et difficilis ad sperandum = slow to hope.
Second theory say that this means: spem longam habens = hoping for / expecting a long life.
What is your opinion about it and why?
 

Pacifica

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My instinctive interpretation was that he spent a long time hoping, but I'm not sure.
 

Katarina

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neve minor neu sit quinto productior actu
fabula quae posci volt et spectanda reponi.


Firstly, should be here after neu added maior?
Second strofe: the fable that wishes to be demanded for and the fable that has to be watched be on (the stage) again. -"That has to be watched seems strange to me ...
 

Pacifica

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Firstly, should be here after neu added maior?
I'm not sure what you mean. There's already productior (meaning "longer").
Second strofe: the fable that wishes to be demanded for and the fable that has to be watched be on (the stage) again. -"That has to be watched seems strange to me ...
It's "the play that wishes to be in demand (lit. to be demanded/asked for) and to be put [on stage] again to be watched".
 

Pacifica

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That might work gramatically too, but Horace's construction is pretty common (a gerundive with a verb like to give, to show, to present, etc., meaning "to give something to [be watched, or whatever]").
 
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