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Perfective or Perfect?

From:Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>
Date:Monday, March 17, 2008, 16:27
I was rereading through my translation of Vergil's Georgics
(admittedly, only the Orpheus & Eurydice parts) into Classical
Arithide, and I came upon a spot I thought I had closed and done with
a long time ago. It has to do with the translation of a certain Latin
past participle, and which aspect I should put it in -- perfective or
perfect, which explains the subject of this mail.

The Latin original goes,

"quam multa ... /
... /
matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita /"

, which the Latin-readers will know translates roughly as "many as ...
mothers and men and bodies done with life". The problem I have lies
with "defuncta".

The word I chose to translate it by the last time round in Cl.
Arithide was "korrākāt", which is the perfect aspect participle of the
verb meaning "to experience, to go through", and the indecision I'm
facing stems from whether that is an accurate translation of
"defuncta", because I couldn't decide whether Vergil intended the word
to be read as "have finished with being alive and are now in a sort of
repose" (which calls for the perfect aspect) or as "went through and
have nothing more to do with being alive" (which calls for the

Comments/suggestions, anyone? :-) Many thanks.

(This is a really moving piece, by the way, and anyone who can read
Latin but has not read this summary of Orpheus & Eurydice should
probably give the passage a try.)



R A Brown <ray@...>