For a textbook exercise, I translated this sentence from English into Latin.

The terrified Callisto, now a wild animal, avoided men and beasts (animals).

(Latin via Ovid)

Here's my translation.

Territa Callisto, nunc animal ferum, viros et animalia fera evitavit.

I'm afraid this is a silly beginner's question, but I was wondering, is it correct to use nunc in apposition this way? Or would it be better to omit nunc and let it be implied?

  • 2
    My intuition is that the verb fio (to become) is needed anyway. In that case, nunc could even be omitted. Can anyone confirm?
    – Rafael
    Oct 28, 2016 at 13:25
  • 1
    nunc cum/quoniam is used much like English to mean "now that...", but in this case I definitely want to add a facta. It's a great question though
    – brianpck
    Oct 28, 2016 at 13:31
  • 2
    The origin is Ovid Met. II.ca.495, mens antiqua tamen facta quoque mansit in ursa.
    – Tom Cotton
    Oct 28, 2016 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


Nunc almost always modifies a verb.

I haven't found any instances yet where nunc modifies a noun to mean "now being...". For that meaning, you could use a relative clause or put in an esse for nunc to modify.

From Cicero's Epistulae ad Familiārēs 10.31.6:

...constitui, ut nunc est, cum exercitu proficisci.


...I have decided, with the way things are now, to set out with my army.

And from his Dē Ōrātore 1.187:

Omnia fere, quae sunt conclusa nunc artibus, dispersa et dissipata quondam fuerunt...


Pretty much all the things which are now incorporated into the arts had previously been separate and disconnected...

There are some cases when nunc modifies a noun. For example, nunc [noun] nunc [noun] is an idiom when you give only a few examples from a longer list. "The Helvetii swept through Gaul, destroying the forces of the other tribes: now the Sequani, now the Aedui." But I don't think this is your intent.

  • Nunc is never anything but an adverb, with only adverbial uses. In your example "nunc (noun), nunc (noun)", it is still an adverb, used with ellipsis of an actual verb, i.e. one which is necessary to the meaning but is understood.
    – Tom Cotton
    Oct 29, 2016 at 8:09
  • @TomCotton I wasn't sure about that, because I didn't find any examples with elided verb except in that particular construction. My English analogy from the answer is not good here: the Latin examples I found did include an actual verb with the nunc X nunc Y as its subject or object.
    – Draconis
    Oct 29, 2016 at 18:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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