Monday, December 20, 2021


Foreign Air

Bengt Löfstedt (1931-2004), "On Errors — A Grammarian's Causerie," Acta Classica 17 (1974) 101-104 (at 103):
Outside the ranks of classicists it is, of course, even easier to find people who cannot handle the Latin language. The best comprehensive work we have on historical French syntax is E. Gamillscheg's Historische Französische Syntax (Tübingen 1957). On p. 582 Gamillscheg quotes the following passage from Cicero: Tusculanum et Pompejanum valde me delectant; nisi quod me aere alieno obruerunt, and translates the nisi-clause as follows: 'nur haben sie mich durch eine fremde Luft überfallen'. The use of aes alienum in the sense of 'debt' is perhaps not as well known as might be expected.7

7. The example is taken from Cic. Att. 2,1,11, but it is not correctly quoted; the text runs: ... nisi quod me, illum ipsum vindicem aeris alieni, aere non Corinthio sed hoc circumforaneo obruerunt.
Aes alienum literally = another's brass.

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