My ambition allows me to realise I do not have to sacrifice.


Mea ambitia concedo mea comprehendo non habeo sacrifico.

Is this correct?


2 Answers 2


Ambitio mea permittit ut intellegam necesse non esse mihi vitam dare.

Literally, "My ambition allows [me] to understand/realise it is not necessary for me to give [my] life".

Note that the verb concedo (in the present tense, third person form concedit) could work, but it is often more akin to "grant", rather than "allow".

I guess comprehendo might also be fine, but I prefer intellego. Anyway one needs to either use the infinitive, or "ut + subjunctive" - instead "ut + indicative" has a modal, temporal, or causal value, not suitable here. I used the latter to avoid three infinitives in a row. The final part of the sentence is reminiscent of Cicero:

Nunc audi quod, etsi intellego scribi necesse non esse, scribo tamen.

As for "to sacrifice", there is a problem: the active sacrifico (used intransitively) and deponent sacrificor both seem to only mean celebrate a sacrifice (or sacrifices, generally) to the gods. At least, I couldn't find any instances of them where they meant "to sacrifice oneself", and L&S seems to support this. That's why I opted for vitam dare, which is attested in Justin:

Codrus, Atheniensium rex, pro patria vitam dedit.

Codrus, King of the Athenians, gave his life for his fatherland.

and indeed he sacrificed himself.

Finally, a remark on ambitio: unlike English "ambition", Italian "ambizione", etc. , it had a somewhat negative connotation - just think of Mark Antony's speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, or even the original one in Cassius Dio's Historia Romana. On the other hand, though, Quintilian did have to say:

Licet ipsa vitium sit ambitio, frequenter tamen causa virtutum est.

Although ambition itself is a vice, it is frequently a source of virtue.

So it's fine to use ambitio.


I think a more appropriate translation is

ambitio mea admittit me comprehendere [ut/quod] non habeam sacrificare

ambitio is the nominative, the "subject" of the sentence.

admittit seems to be a decent word for "to allow". Other options seem to be liberat, mittit (these two, in the sense of "to release"), permittit, sinit. An earlier suggestion of mine, approbat seems not to be appropriate (see VO comment below).

Regarding the verbs, as far as I know, should in infinitive (although I remember someone pointed to me this is mostly a Vulgata thing, which is where I am mostly sourcing my Latin from).

Same with ut/quod. Not sure if they are pertinent or not, and they might be also a Vulgate/mediaeval Latin thing.

  • 1
    Thank you so much! Appreciate you reply.
    – jcytzxc
    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:04
  • @jcytzxc You are welcome, but not so fast (in marking as accepted), I should say. Let's see what other people think. I'm still a beginner in Latin. :/
    – luchonacho
    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:05
  • I do have some sentences that I do have queries about. Would it be possible to share it with you? I would like to hear out your feedback so I can improve on my Latin. Similarly, I am a beginner as well.
    – jcytzxc
    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:06
  • @jcytzxc You are welcome to post them in this site! If the phrases have some connection, perhaps you can add them as just one new question, rather than one new question per phrase. But that's just my suggestion.
    – luchonacho
    Apr 13, 2019 at 8:08
  • 1
    You should have habeam. And regarding approbo, the "allow" bit on the L&S entry specifies "so of the gods", hence the underlying meaning is still of "approval, favor" (of the gods). Apr 14, 2019 at 15:33

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