There are basically 3 approaches:
- Specta mihi in oculos
- Specta me, in oculos
- Specta (in) oculos meos
Probably, there is no "correct" translation, but maybe there is more natural and precise one. For me, the expression "look me in the eyes" is pretty emphatic (and begs for strong personal attention to the speaker) compared to "look at my eyes" which may be used also in technical sense: "look at my eyes, there is something on it". This expression is somewhat odd in English grammar-wise, but it attested also in other languages that we can use the dative (I would say that also in the English expression"look me in the eyes", me is the dative case (not the accusative)). I don't know if, theoretically, in this example (in English and other languages) this dative should be called the "dative of possession", but effectively it is, as the reference is to the my eyes. (maybe it is even the dative of purpose?)
The trigger of this question is the expression "mihi in oculos" that was used by Vives in his Dialogues:
Nescio quid incidit mihi in oculos, ita videor eos habere plenos arenae.
reading that the usage of the dative of possession is usually when we want to stress the fact of possession, I had found the usage of the dative in that context somewhat odd and less-obvious, but I could tolerate that, and moved on. However, today, on further inspection - thinking of expressions in other languages - I think it might be more natural to use the dative, just as the case of the English "look me in the eyes".
So my question, can we the dative of possession more naturally when in cases where there is context of action that effecting (to)someone, such as Vive's "incidit" which had it's effect of the entire being, rather than the eyes specifically; or, "specta", where we really mean "look at me" (attend to me) and not specifically at the eyes, hence "specta mihi in oculos"?
what would be your translation of the phrase?