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Anoone for dog Latin?
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 31, 2005 03:58AM

I went to see my son gig at a London Pub called the Racing Page recently. It is one of a group of pubs with themes from bits of newspapers and has a well-carved frieze of running racehorses along the top of the bar (all different) and a big carving on one wall, of horses and jockeys all in a ruck before or after a race, I think, with this carved beneath

Quadrupedante putrem sonitu (sonito/sonita?) quatit ingula campum (Virgil's Aeneid)

Have tried the instant translations, with no success and have lost my old Latin dictionary - which wouldn't be much good anyway, as I suspect it's dog Latin - the spelling of Aeneid strikes me as odd which is suspicious.

Can anyone clarifiy it for me, please?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2005 03:59AM by marian2.


Re: Anoone for dog Latin?
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 31, 2005 09:04AM

Marian, 'sonitu' is correct, but 'ingula' is a mistake for 'ungula'. With that correction, it's a genuine line from Virgil's Aeneid [Book 8, Line 596].

     quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum

'ungula' is a hoof, usually a horse's hoof, and is here - as the subject of the sentence - used to mean a horse, or poetically a group of horses. (I forget what you call the figure of speech when a reference to a part of some thing is used to mean the whole thing, e.g. calling workmen 'hands').

'quatit' is the verb, meaning shook or beat or struck [as with a drum].

The object is 'putrem ... campum', the 'crumbling [or decaying] ... ground [or plain]'.

'quadrupedante ... sonitu' is an adverbial phrase: 'with four-footed ... sound'.

So the whole line literally means 'The steed(s) [or the hoofs of the steed(s)] drummed [or shook] the crumbling plain with four-footed sound'.

Needless to say, translators of the Aeneid have rendered the gist in less literal ways to make the English version read more naturally. I won't quote examples here.

Virgil's line is often cited as a great example of onomatopoeia in Latin poetry, the sounds and rhythm of the words mimicking the sound of galloping horses.

Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2005 01:38AM by IanB.


Re: Anoone for dog Latin?
Posted by: marian2 (192.168.128.---)
Date: October 31, 2005 12:50PM

Thank you very much indeed, Ian. I dropped Latin in what was then called the 3rd form - and we spend our lessons mainly declining verbs and doing the equivalent with nouns, so I never had much vocabulary and it has mostly left me. I am, however, frequently intrigued by Latin mottos etc, and I couln't even start with translating anything in this one except a guess at quadrupedante! It's a very evocative line and fits the carving extremely well. I can feel the onomatopeia, too!


Re: Anoone for dog Latin?
Posted by: IanB (192.168.128.---)
Date: November 01, 2005 01:36AM

a very evocative line

And a timely one too, for devotees of horse racing.

I have just watched a telecast of a history-making Melbourne Cup, run in the most glorious spring weather you could imagine, and won for the third year in a row by the mare Makybe Diva. The only horse in the 145 years of this annual 2 mile (3,200m) race to win it three times. Only four others, none of them mares, have won more than once. I'm not a regular racegoer, or even a regular punter, but for at least a few minutes on the afternoon of the first Tuesday of November most of Australia stops to watch/listen to 'the Cup', and this year's was a moving occasion, with prizemoney totalling $5.1m and a record crowd at the course ecstatically cheering the favourite's victory.


Re: Anoone for dog Latin?
Posted by: StephenFryer (Moderator)
Date: November 01, 2005 01:44AM

Ian, it's metonymy.




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