kidyounot: (Default)
Tu ne quaesieris (scire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. Ut melius quicquid erit pati!
Seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum, sapias, vina liques, et spatio brevi
spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.

Tu non chiedere - non è lecito saperlo - quale fine
abbiano assegnato a me, a te, gli dèi, o Leuconoe,
e non tentare i calcoli babilonesi. Come è meglio sopportare tutto quello che accadrà!
Sia che Giove ti abbia assegnato ancora molti inverni, o che sia l'ultimo,
che ora su opposte scogliere fiacca
il mar Tirreno, sii saggia, filtra il vino e in un breve spazio
contieni la tua lunga speranza. Mentre parliamo è già fuggito, invidioso,
il tempo: cogli il giorno, facendo meno possibile affidamento al futuro.

Do not ask - it's not licit to know - which aim/end the gods gave to me and to you, Leuconoe, and do not try the babylonian calculi. How much better it is to endure everything that will come! Whether Jupiter assigned you many more winters, or this was the last one, and [Note: I don't really know how to translate this 'quae' into english] now the Tyrrhenian sea drowsily hits opposite sea cliffs, be wise, filter the wine and keep your big hope into a restricted space. As we speak, the envious time has already fled: seize the day, and rely on the future as less as you can.

[Horace, Odes, 1.11 - Italian translation by, I think, Gian Biagio Conte and/or Emilio Pianezzola. Crappy english translation by me.]

[I tried to keep the italian translation on the same lines of the latin text, but it wasn't really possible with english sentence constructions, so it'll be harder to figure out which word is which if you compare latin and english!]

also, i'm wondering - does any of you speak latin? i think you can only take it in college, but i'm not sure. well, if you do, i'd gladly look through some odes by horace with you :P

by the way, a short comment to the catchphrase "carpe diem". no, horace didn't mean "enjoy life, go party as if today was your last day", as many people interpret it, out of context. it is actually a warning, to face events, no matter what they are, one by one as they come to you, relying only on the present and trying to 'catch' it while it quickly runs away. so it's more of a thought on time passing by than an invite to live having fun because sooner or later you're going to die. this is also backed up by the word "invida" (envious) referred to time, as time takes away everything good you have in life, and does it quickly - also expressed by the perfect future "fugerit" (it will flee, but also, it's already gone).
so, horace says, we should not focus on what's to come (by Babylonios temptaris numeri, "trying the babylonian calculi", which refers to the horoscopes written by famous babylonian astrologists.) but we should instead solve the problems that we are facing today, because it's not in our power (nefas, it's not licit - as in, allowed by the gods) to know what's in our future.

so there. i hope you enjoyed this cheap roman philosophy lesson! (it started with me wanting to show you some latin text trying to get your attention with the fact that it's the famous 'carpe diem' one, and then it ended with me practicing for tomorrow's latin literature test...!)


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April 2010

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