Sunday, May 29, 2016
Take Up Sound Studies
Take up sound studies, and bear in mind what the poet said: Well begun is half done. Dare to know, cultivate the Romans, embrace the Greeks without whom the Romans cannot be properly studied.The poet is Horace, Epistles 1.2.40:
Capessite ergo sana studia, et quod a Poëta dictum est, animo volvite: Dimidium facti qui coepit habet. Sapere audete, veteres Latinos colite, Graeca amplexamini, sine quibus Latina tractari recte nequeunt.
dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet; sapere aude.What noun should we supply with Graeca? Volumina, or perhaps exemplaria? Cf. Horace, Ars Poetica 268-269 (tr. John Conington):
Make Greece your model when you write,
And turn her volumes over day and night.
vos exemplaria Graeca
nocturna versate manu, versate diurna.
Why need a noun be supplied at all? Might it not be a neuter plural adjective used as a substantive? ‘Greek things’, perhaps ‘Greek culture?’ Perfectly good Latin to do so.
Dr A Girdwood
Head of Classics
17-23 Queen's Road,
Aberdeen, AB15 4PB