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I am looking to have something embodied that says:

"I am made from the dust of the stars"

The quote is for a man, and I rather keep the to-be verb in the present tense (I am, not I was) if possible. I've been researching online the best way to translate it to latin, and I am torn between two options:

  1. Factus sum ex pulvere stellarum
  2. Ex stellarum pulvere factus sum

I am also unsure if either Ex or E should be used as a preposition in this case, as I know little to nothing about Latin grammar. Can a kind soul please advise? Thanks!

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  • 2
    You'll find this thread helpful. Basically, the only difference between those two sentences is the word order. The first is more in line with English, the second is better Latin.
    – cmw
    Jul 30, 2023 at 13:54
  • @cmw Thank you for that. Would you replace all U with V?
    – pmdci
    Jul 30, 2023 at 14:36
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    No, that's only a stylistic preference. See this question. I'd only do that if you were writing in caps.
    – cmw
    Jul 30, 2023 at 14:42
  • Is factus the best choice for made here? I think it implies a creative/agentic act of making, whereas I naturally interpret the English as being about material composition.
    – dbmag9
    Jul 30, 2023 at 16:03
  • @dbmag9 I think it is based on what you said. It is more poetic.
    – pmdci
    Jul 30, 2023 at 21:29

1 Answer 1

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Just to put into an answer what I said in the comments, this is generally a fine translation. Some notes:

a) I'd go with ex, since it's more common, nor are you using a standard phrase with e.

b) Instead of ex, you could also do de. It's perfectly classical, but it will probably remind people of Genesis 2 (the second creation story in Genesis), where God made Adam de limo terrae ("from the mud of earth").

c) I would prefer the second order, as it feels more Latinate, while the former feels like it was composed with the English word order in mind.

d) Factus sum is actually not present tense, but perfect. However, things completed in the past can indicate a status for the present, so it really doesn't change anything at all. That said, it means more "[am/have been] [fashioned/constructed]." This would be different from "I am comprised of", as dbmag9 mentions in the comments. For that, you might use a genitive of quality instead. But as I don't think that's the direction you're going for, I would stick with factus (cf. statua ex aere facta, Cic. Verr. 2.2.21).

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  • Thank you for this. I will likely have it all in caps, as follows: EX STELLARVM PVLVERE FACTVS SVM. Just out of curiosity, do you have any favourite typeet that resembles old Latin? I am aware that any roman alphabet font will do, just curious!
    – pmdci
    Aug 1, 2023 at 16:32
  • @pmdci In the case of all caps, then yes, V not U is standard. I don't have a font in particular, sorry. I think there is a graphic design site on StackExchange that might be able to help with that, though.
    – cmw
    Aug 1, 2023 at 18:01

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