Tuesday, October 12, 2021


Ohe, Iam Satis Est!

Horace, Satires 1.5.12-13 (tr. Emily Gowers):
Whoa, that's quite enough!

iam satis est!
Martial, 4.89.1 (tr. Rosario Moreno Soldevila):
Whoa, that's enough, whoa...

ohe, iam satis est, ohe...
Moreno Soldevila ad loc.:
cf. Hor. S. 1.5.12–13. The interjection ohe (Gr. ὠή or ὠῆ) roughly means 'stop it' (OLD s.v. 1a), although it can simply imply impatience or tiresomeness (OLD s.v. 1b): cf. Don. ad Ter. Ph. 377 ohe interiectio est satietatem usque ad fastidium designans. It belongs to oral language; it is, therefore, highly common in comedy: Pl. As. 384; Bac. 1065; Ter. Ph. 418; 1001; cf. Pers. 1.23. It is normally reinforced by the adverb iam (Ter. Ad. 723; 769 [cf. Hau. 879]; Hor. S. 2.5.96), or even by iam satis (Pl. Cas. 248; St. 734). For its prosody, see TLL s.v. 536.36–43 (W.). Both here and in line 9, the first ohe has two long vowels, whereas the second has a short /o/ (cf. 1.31.1, for the different prosody of tibi: tĭbī and tĭbĭ). Martial further uses iam satis est in 7.51.14 et cum 'Iam satis est' dixeris, ille leget (Galán ad loc.); 9.6.4; cf. Pl. As. 329 iam satis est mihi; Hor. S. 1.1.120 iam satis est; Ep. 1.7.16; [Quint.] Decl. 6.7.
The sentence is in A. Otto, Die Sprichwörter und sprichwörtlichen Redensarten der Römer (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1890), p. 309 (#1591), but not in Renzo Tosi, Dictionnaire des sentences latines et grecques, tr. Rebecca Lenoir (Grenoble: Jérôme Millon, 2010).

I find it a useful expression these days, when so many things disgust me. To translate Donatus (quoted above by Moreno Soldevila), "Ohe is an interjection signifying surfeit to the point of disgust."

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