1

I need help translating a Tennyson line

Be loyal to the royal in thyself and be loyal to the land

2

A literal translation is straightforward enough:

Es fidelis regio in te ipse et es fidelis terrae.

N.B. that es is a 2nd person singular imperative here, and that regio is the dative of regium (I interpreted royal as a general royal quality, not as if the person addressed is literally a member of the royal family; fidelis takes either the dative or in + accusative). If you want to make it thy land instead of the land, add tuae after terrae.

Other choices could be made; this doesn't preserve Tennyson's internal rhyme or rhythm, but a high-quality poetic translation is probably beyond the scope of the Latin Language Stack Exchange.

  • One grammatical issue: it should be ipso (ablative), not ipse (nominative). – brianpck Nov 28 '20 at 17:33
  • @brianpck I think both are correct (that is, ipse outside of its use specifically as a demonstrative pronoun can be declined or treated as indeclinable)? I had Seneca's famous line "recede in te ipse quantum potes" in mind (te in the accusative, ipse not declined), but in te ipso is obviously not wrong. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 18:30
  • Though looking it up now I see the Loeb edition has ipsum there. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 18:32
  • 1
    I looked it up here (298f) and found something new: apparently ipse often agrees with the (understood) subject. So, in your case, ipse would agree with the understood nominative tu of the imperative--which isn't quite the same as being indeclinable. – brianpck Nov 28 '20 at 19:59
  • Oh, cool, I never knew that. Happy accident, then. – Cairnarvon Nov 28 '20 at 20:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.