In Q: "Contra felicem vix deus vires habet" - Need advice on replacing the word "Felicem"; suggested that "felicem" be replced by "audacem". Thanks to Hugh who indicated the elision requirement for the clash of vowels "a", in "contra-audacem", giving "contr' audacem". Alternatively, one "a" can be bracketed: "contr(a) audacem"; marking that it is to be barely pronounced, if at all. Neither of these elisions would help the tattoo.

Asked if such circumstances would disqualify the use of "audacem". Thanks to Draconis who was not sure; but, advised that a poet can use hiatus to make the meter work. This, I think, means that elision can be omitted when a word, ending in a vowel, has a special emphasis (Allen & Greenough 612-615).

Would "contra" hold "a special emphasis"; or, should the word "audacem" be replaced by e.g. "fortem"?

  • 7
    I'm sorry if this comes across as rude - it's not meant to be - but could you avoid writing (so many) sentences with implied subject? I think it detracts from readability, which is a pity because you ask good questions. Dec 5 '19 at 12:24
  • @Vincenzo Oliva: I've been in trouble, recently, over asking Qs; but, thank you. In English it is not "good form" to keep repeating first-person pronoun "I". Therefore, (I) try to keep it to a minimum.
    – tony
    Dec 5 '19 at 12:38
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    That may be true, but I'm pretty sure it's not really better to go to the other extreme. Just my 2 cents anyway, cheers. Dec 5 '19 at 12:45
  • In this question I had trouble figuring out, at times, who the implicit subject was. I would rather see a subject repeated than be confused.
    – LarsH
    Dec 5 '19 at 20:22
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    Tony, I'm not sure where your "good form" comes from, but I'm sure that whoever recommends avoiding "I" doesn't mean just to leave it out.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 6 '19 at 15:15

I need to contradict the notion of "elision requirement" postulated in one of the comments on the previous question. In written Latin there is no elision. You write quite simply "contra audacem", "mea anima" etc. In poetry the final vowel of the first word will usually be elided (or perhaps merely shortened), or not, as required, but in any event this does not affect the spelling. In prose there is no way of knowing whether that vowel is dropped or not.

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