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Book I :: Lines 12-22

In This Section: Reasons for Juno's wrath (extended introduction).

Urbs antiqua fuit (Tyrii tenuere coloni)
Karthago, Italiam contra Tiberinaque longe
ostia, dives opum studiisque asperrima belli;
quam Juno fertur terris magis omnibus unam
posthabita coluisse Samo: hic illius arma,
hic currus fuit; hoc regnum dea gentibus esse,
si qua fata sinant, jam tum tenditque fovetque.
Progeniem sed enim Trojano a sanguine duci
audierat Tyriae olim quae verteret arces;
hinc populum late regem belloque superbum
venturum excidio Libyae: sic volvere Parcas.

Literal Translation:

[There] was an ancient city (Tyrian colonists held [it]),
Carthage, opposite [from] Italy and far [opposite from] the Tiber's
mouth, rich in resources and most fierce in pursuit of war;
[the city] which Juno is said to have cherished alone more [than] all lands,
Samos having been placed after: here [were] her arms,
here was [her] chariot; [for] this [city] to be the ruling power [over all] races, the goddess,
if [only] in some way the fates would allow, already then strove and cherished.
But [Juno] had heard [that] in truth a race was being derived from Trojan blood
which at some time would overturn the Tyrian citadels;
hence [from that race] people ruling widely and proud in war
would come for the destruction of Libya: thus [she had heard] the Fates have unrolled.

Nice Translation:

An ancient city, Tyrian-held Carthage, sat opposite
from Italy, and far off from Tiber's mouth -- a place
rich in resources and most fierce in belligerent zeal,
and one that Juno cherished over all other lands,
placing even Samos after. Here in Carthage laid her
arms and here her chariot, and even then the goddess
held and fondled her city, striving, if only the Fates would
allow, to see this race rule over all others. But she had
heard that from Trojan blood would come a rival race,
a wide-ruling people superb in war, to topple the Tyrian
citadels and destroy her Libya, or so the Fates unrolled.


Yay! I got to use volvere literally after all! I'd forgotten there was another instance of this verb so soon, but here it works perfectly in English. Can't you see the Fates unrolling the life-threads from their spindle, or a long scroll of detailed histories yet to occur?

I am extremely pleased with this passage. It was quite easy to stick to the same number of lines, so much so that I could even get creative and add in some things of my own to round it out. It actually feels quite amazing to look at the literal translation and be able to throw so much of that tangled grammar out the window if I want -- it's something I could obviously never do in class! -- and use my writer's instincts to craft the words and meaning together in a way that flows in English. It sounds so insignificant, but even the ability to throw in a "her" instead of a "the," or to choose between "a" and "the," makes such a marked difference in tone. I can enhance the verbs when I change the sentence structure, use "sat" instead of "was," and "topple" instead of "overturn," and even gain some alliteration in the meantime. Gods know how much I love alliteration!

I got to use several more direct derivatives of the original words in this section as well. It seems the obvious thing to do, but most derivatives end up being longer, more boring sounding words in English. (Really, which word sounds more vivid, "revolve" or "roll"?)

I am a happy translator. :D

Project Stats:
Lines translated: 22
English lines produced: 22
Lines left in this book: 734