In Stephen King's novel Song of Susannah, aka Dark Tower book 6, he has the phrase:

In the Kingdom of Ago, the clocks tick... but their hands never move.

I am translating this to Latin but find some words a bit more difficult, with the usage of "ago" being particularly challenging.

Here is my first attempt:

In Imperio Agonis, Horologia crepitant… sed manūs eorum nec unquam movent.

To initially keep it simple, I treated "ago" like a third declension noun as though it was a borrowed word. In addition to that, I also found "tick" difficult and wasn't sure if nec unquam was the right way to express "never" in this usage.

I usually prefer classical for translations, however in this case because I am trying to specifically speak about mechanical clocks I'm looking for Neo-Latin to capture that.


I made another attempt based on comments and to make the first part closer to the original:

In Regno Praeteritorum, Horologia Crepitant… sed Manūs Eorum Numquam Movent

  • 2
    I don't think clocks ticked in antiquity, but I'm certain someone from the recent centuries must have described the ticking of a clock in Latin somewhere.
    – cmw
    Commented May 20 at 19:51
  • sed...nec unquam seems weird to me. I think you might be better with just numquam, at least in this construction. I haven't checked PHI for comparisons yet, though. Are you modeling it off something?
    – cmw
    Commented May 20 at 19:54
  • Smith and Hall had an entry using crepitat but the source was listed as a question market. tick (v.): the clock t.s, *horologium in numerum crepitat (?): to t. off names, perh. *puncto nomina notare.
    – Adam
    Commented May 20 at 19:55
  • Regarding nec unquam, I was basing it off examples in the dictionary. Numquam alone looks a lot better to me, though.
    – Adam
    Commented May 20 at 19:57
  • I wonder if you might have better luck with the image of a sundial: "the sun traverses the sky, but the shadows on the sundial never follow"?
    – cmw
    Commented May 20 at 20:03


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