I've come up with a neat little saying and I'd like to translate it into Latin, I've come across two different translations so far but am unsure which is the most accurate. The saying is "No sympathy from the dead" or "there is no sympathy from the dead" either works. And the two translations I've found are: "Non misericordiam a mortuis" and "Nulla misericordia a mortuis" I'd like to know which is the most accurate translation?

1 Answer 1


Non misericordiam a mortuis

It lacks a verb, so it feels grammatically wrong with the accusative being there.

Nulla misericordia a mortuis

This is better. 'No compassion from the dead'. It lacks the verb but it is easy to fill in exoptatur or similar.

Further ideas:

Mei mortuos non miseret. 'The dead don't feel compassion towards me.'

Mortui non miserentur. (See discussion below.)

Mei mortuos non miserescit. 'The dead don't show compassion to me.'

Mortui non miserantur. 'The dead don't show compassion.'

  • 1
    I agree with your appropriate suggestions. By the way, miserantur in your last example should be replaced by miserentur (2nd conj.). As for the ellipsis, I agree that no verb is necessary in Nulla misericordia a mortuis . I'd expect the elliptical verb there be a bit "lighter" (i.e. more "copulative"?) than exoptatur.
    – Mitomino
    Nov 29, 2021 at 20:08
  • There are two verbs miseror 1st conj. which my example uses, and misereo (whence misereor) 2nd conj. Is there a huge semantic difference between those two? I agree that exoptatur is a bit too bombastic for the occasion. Maybe datur? Nov 29, 2021 at 20:22
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    My intuition is that the use of miserentur is more directly related to that of the previous example (miseret). So I'd go for miserentur to express a more direct parallelism between Mei mortuos non miseret and Mortui non miserentur: both are stative verbs with the resultative suffix -e-. Note also that misereor is intransitive, whereas miseror is transitive. Here is an article (in Spanish; NB: abstract in English) that deals with their syntactic and subtle semantic differences: revistas.ucm.es/index.php/CFCL/article/view/43564/41196
    – Mitomino
    Nov 29, 2021 at 21:13

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