matrona Julii auguria video et spem non habet

I thought it might mean “I see the augures thanks to Julius‘ wife and he/she has no hope” or “Oh wife of Julius! I see the augures and he has no hope” or even something else, but I don't know which one is the most likely.

Edit. This sentence was given to me as an exercise, as far as I know it's not an excerpt from a longer text.

  • 2
    In the original exercise, is it videt instead of video? The sentence seems to make a lot more sense to me that way.
    – Adam
    Nov 5, 2021 at 14:17
  • No the sentence is correct as it is
    – user10351
    Nov 5, 2021 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


It's strange without context but not impossible to say:

I, the wife of Julius, see the omens and he [presumably Julius] has no hope.

Makes sense for a translation exercise, I suppose.

It is also possible that matrona Iulii is vocative, and so it would indeed be translated as you have it ("[Oh] wife of Julius!, I see..."). But without punctuation or context, it's impossible to say which is meant.


If you move the word order around, it makes more sense:

Auguria video et matrona Julii spem non habet

Let's break down each word:

  • Auguria - "omens, signs", acc., plural and object of the first verb, video.
  • Video - "see", 1st person, singular.

Your first clause then is "I see the omens".

  • Matrona - "wife", nom., subject of second clause.
  • Julii - gen., husband of the wife previously mentioned.
  • spem - "hope", acc., plural, object of the second verb, habet.
  • non - "not".
  • habet - "have", 3rd person, singular.

The second clause is then, "The wife of Julius does not have hope". This and the previous clause are then joined with the conjunction, et (and), so you get:

I see the omens and the wife of Julius does not have hope.

If by chance your instructor made a mistake and video was supposed to be videt, then it would be:

The wife of Julius sees the omens and does not have hope.

  • 3
    That is probably the intended meaning, but if that is the case, then the original word order is absurd. You could say: quod ad matronam attinet, auguria video, et spem non habet, fine. But as it is, I could be wrong and I can't quote chapter and verse to prove it, but it seems downright wrong to me; certainly in prose. Nov 6, 2021 at 19:26
  • This sounds probable, I will give an update as soon as I get an answer
    – user10351
    Nov 7, 2021 at 14:47

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