Friday, July 10, 2015


Carmina Latina Epigraphica 190 Buecheler

Carmina Latina Epigraphica 190 = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum 6.30103 (my translation):
Come here, friends, let's enjoy a good time;
let's dine happily, drenched with wine,
while short life remains; let cheerful harmony prevail.
All these men did the same so long as they lived;
they gave, received, enjoyed themselves so long as they existed.        5
Let us, too, imitate the times of the men of old.
Live while you're alive, and don't at all refrain
From yielding to your passions, which are god's gift.
The Latin, from Anthologia Latina sive Poesis Latinae Supplementum...Pars Posterior: Carmina Epigraphica conlegit Franciscus Buecheler, Fasciculus I (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1895), p. 92, with the editor's note and apparatus:
Adeste amici, fruamur tempus bonum,
epulemur laeti, uita dum parua manet,
Baccho madentes, hilaris sit concordia.
eadem fecerunt hi cuncti dum uiuerent,
dederunt acceperunt, dum essent, fruniti sunt.        5
et nos antiquorum emitemur tempora.
uiue dum uiuis, nec quidquam denegaueris
animo indulgere, quem commodauit deus.

Garrucci in actis inst. arch. rom. 1861 p. 37 ex schedis quas possidere se narrat Zarattini Castellini        Romae in tabula marmorea effossa ante portas. sensus a uolgo gentili non alieni, sed iambi insciti et summa uersus 6 recentiorum nugis quam antiquitati conuenientior, itaque diffidebam schedarum auctori

8 anime Garr., correxi
It's possible to construe quidquam (line 7) in a couple of ways. It could (as I've translated it) be adverbial with denegaueris—see Oxford Latin Dictionary, s.v. quisquam, sense 5. Or it could be the direct object of indulgere—see e.g. J.D. Lewis on Juvenal 2.139-140:
indulgere, with an accusative of the thing and a dative of the person, in the sense of to give, grant, allow, is very common in Juvenal and his contemporaries; but not in earlier writers, who use indulgere alicui or aliquem, but not aliquid alicui.
With the second possibility, the translation would be "don't refrain from allowing your passions [indirect object] anything whatever [direct object]."

I toyed with the idea of reading quod (with antecedent quidquam) instead of quem (with antecedent animo) in the last line as the object of commodauit, but perhaps that would require the verb to be in the subjunctive mood.

Thanks very much to Eric Thomson for drawing the poem to my attention and for discussing it with me. I alone am responsible for any mistakes and infelicities. Here is Eric's version, composed while he was drenched with Amarguinha:
Draw near, friends, let's enjoy precious moments,
and dine with gusto, drenched with wine;
life's short, little remains; let mirth and harmony reign.
All these here did just that while still among us,
giving, receiving, enjoying themselves whilst they had life.
Let us live again the times of those who've gone before us.
Live the life that's still yours, and your passions — which are a gift from god —
Don't spurn a single one.

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