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Wheelock's Latin

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Another question [Feb. 15th, 2007|11:01 pm]
Wheelock's Latin


"Nihil igitur mors est, quoniam natura animi habetur mortalis"- Lucretius.

I haven't been able to make much headway with this one. The first clause is clear enough: "Death, therefore, is nothing," but I'm still not certain how to interpret the second. I'm guessing "natura animi" is nominative and genetive- "the nature of the soul," but I'm not 100% sure about this. The closest I can come up with as a translation is "Death, therefore, is nothing, since the nature of the soul is held to be mortal," but even that doesn't make a tremendous amount of sense, and the "to be" part seems like a bit of a stretch. What I'm left with, literally, is "the nature of the soul is had, or is held, mortal." Am I misconstruing this somehow? Could anyone shed some light on this?


From: (Anonymous)
2009-12-07 07:42 pm (UTC)
habere can be used to mean "to consider, to hold (an opinion)," so the second clause is "since the nature of the soul is held to be mortal." Lucretius is a materialist, ie he believed that when we die, that's it. No afterlife, nothing. "Therefore, death is nothing because the soul is thought to be mortal" (ie nothing happens after death).

dr. dean-jones
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