Salve... ?

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Salve... ?

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sat May 24, 2003 3:53 pm

Avete,

Recently I saw, included in an English poem by Browning, a stretch of Latin: salve tibi used as a way to greet someone else. Here in SVR and other places the norm is to have salve or salvete followed by a name in the vocative case.

However, tibi is clearly in the dative case. What do the other latinists here think? Can both be used, or dative case only, in which case we are greeting each other wrongly! (if it is true, I'm going to fetch me a rope and hang myself).

Additionally, Mus recently told me that in the Latin letters he's read, salve and vale not used. If it was used, it was probably rather informal.

I await your opinions.

Valete;
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Browning

Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Sun May 25, 2003 12:20 am

Browning was wrong. Salve and Salvete are verbs in the imperative (direct commands). Only the vocative makes sense with them.

I think Browning was confused by such expressions as pax tibi and, as a Jedi Knight would say, vis vobiscum. These phrases use a noun and the dative form of a verb. If Browning wanted to use this form correctly, he should have written, salus tibi. But maybe that didn't fit the meter...
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Re: Browning

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Sun May 25, 2003 7:59 pm

Salve mi Tergeste,

Primus Aurelius Tergestus wrote:If Browning wanted to use this form correctly, he should have written, salus tibi. But maybe that didn't fit the meter...


Aaaahh the good old metris causa :). In fact I think that both "salus" and "salve" ("salue") have an equal amount of syllables and have stress on the first one. So probably, as you say, Browning made a mistake. I'm quite relieved though.

It wouldn't be the first time Latin is used incorrectly in the arts. My brother recently borrowed a cd from a friend of his titled "De mysteriis dom sathanas" which sounds cool but has at least three mistakes in it. Same goed for the famous (well in Europe :)) Faithless song "Salva mea". I think the correct form should be "Salva mihi".

Long live pedantry :P.

Atticus had a very good picture for a future Latin Inquisition. I'll ask him if he still has it :D.

Vale bene!
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Postby Primus Aurelius Timavus on Sun May 25, 2003 9:40 pm

Salve Draco,

Yes, you are right. It cannot be the meter. But maybe Browning was looking for some other aural effect that salve would produce but salus would not. Perhaps the final "s" would have been a bit jarring? It is impossible to know without seeing the context. And I do not believe that I have the poetic ear to decide even if I were to have the context in front of me!
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon May 26, 2003 7:18 pm

Salve Tergeste,

Here is a part of the poem. The title is "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister" and was written around 1839. The italics are said by brother Lawrence, whom the lyrical persona, a jealous and frustrated monk, hates.

At the meal we sit together
Salve tibi! I must hear
Wise talk of the kind of weather
Sort of season, time of year
Nor a plenteous cork crop, scarcely
Dare we hope oak-galls I doubt
What's the Latin name for "parsley"?

What's the Greek name for swine's snout?

***

I can't help but thinking that salus would have sounded better :P. Better not tell it at my exam the day after tomorrow, as this is one of the poems I may get to discuss :).

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Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Mon May 26, 2003 7:41 pm

yep, yep, he's back (like he ever went!): our latin inquisitor! all this talking about one word... Why don't you write some latin poems yourself, mi sc... Draco?
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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Mon May 26, 2003 9:09 pm

Why don't you :twisted: ?

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Postby Q. C. Locatus Barbatus on Tue May 27, 2003 7:51 pm

because, as you all know, I'm a very modest person, and I wouldn't like to receive all that attention and succes that my Latin poems should deserve :roll: :lol: .
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