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"Mercurius, non Iuppiter, itinera regit."

Translation:Mercurius, not Iuppiter, rules trips.

August 31, 2019



What is the meaning of this sentence? Are they trying to say that Mercury is the god of travels?


Yes. I personally think this would have a better translation with "journeys" instead of "trips," but it is saying exactly that.


Agreed. In the first round (crown level 1) there were some sentences where "trips" was more appropriate than "journeys;" now they seem to have found a case where the opposite is true. It wakes us up to the subtleties of semantics in the English language.


"travels" for itinera was not accepted.


Trips and journeys are not the same in English. A trip, is a short journey.


I understand that the native search a more natural way to say that, but a trip is not a journey.

We could say that Mercurius rules both trips and journeys.

Checking the Latin dictionary "itinera" really means travelling to a great distance, not just to travel.


Perce & 1e7x--quite impressed with your erudition but, as an old native US gringo speaker from coast to coast, the difference between trip and journey is not significant to me despite the many unique nuances of each. luv2u.


I don't agree that a trip is just a short journey. However, as you say, they are not the same thing in English. The link you provide says in its definition of trip, "The act of going to another place (often for a short period of time) and returning." It's the returning that makes it a trip, not the distance. As such, the use of trip in the currently preferred translation of "Mercurius, non Iuppiter, itinera regit" is not a good choice of word.


This sentence came round again, so this time I used the word trip in the translation, and then reported it as "My answer should not be accepted."


It's been a long time since I've posted in the forums, but once again, Perce, please don't tell English speakers what is and is not the same in English.

A journey is, colloquially, more complicated usually. Like taking a train, a boat AND a plane to get somewhere. But either can be short or long, in distance or duration.


I just put journeys but it was marked as wrong. Why? Whatever the exact difference is in English, I suppose Mercurius would be a protector no matter if it is a return travel or with boat, plane and hike, short or long, no?


Yes. "Rules over" would probably be a better translation.


Or "controls," "guides," "is in charge of." I've been suggesting some of these.


These are much better and less confusing translations.


In this case, you can say "rule", without the "over", it's even more common.

"Mercurius rules trade" is a common expression.
"Astrologers say the planet of Mercurius rules the sign of the Twins"
"Mercurius rules the world of healers who run with messages written on scrolls."
God rules the world. God rules the nation.
"Goddess of arts, battle and sapience, Athena rules the mental battlefields"

Etc, etc.

It's really a common way to say that.

"To rule" is the best translation in this case. It's an expression. It means all that "to be in charge of", "to control", "to rule over". It means everything at the same time.

"Rule over" hasn't the same meaning, it's used for instance in:
"The dictator rules over the whole territory", and it's really a different meaning. The dictator is not the "patron" of the territory, he simply exercises his authority.


I disagree. Whether you add over or not either would be acceptable in modern English, however both seem to be implying that murcurius would be an active participant in the activity. If you say "Mercurius rules trips," it seems like he is in charge and must give permission or something. Same with God rules the world, etc.

This whole sentence is not good really. It would be hard to give a direct translation that doesnt sound awkward because of the subject. In reality this would be a conversation where you could specify what exactly is meant.


Yes! It's teaching us that Mercury was a God for travelers, that he guided them on their journeys. Here's an extract from the Adagia of Erasmus:

«At viatorum deus habebatur Mercurius».

Yet Mercury was considered the God of travelers.


The god (no "G") of the travelers, of the healers, of the liars, of the cheaters, and of the merchants (probably some link between cheaters and merchants)


Probably some link between cheaters and thieves and those who had to travel a lot as well.


I tried "governs travels." No dice.


Rulers of trips sounds.. odd


Mercury is Captain of Trips.


Lord of Psilocybin


I do like "travels" for "itinera." And "rules over" does sound better in English.


"To rule" and "To rule over" are 2 different meanings.

"To rule" is used for gods, God, or influences, like planets.
And kings.



Perhaps leave some of these nuances to native English speakers. To rule something and to rule over something, when speaking of Pagan gods, have the same sense in English.


My vote goes to Iuppiter, but henotheism allows either :) https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/34530977


wrong 4 jupiter vs juppiter. seriously? merc is a busy travel agent.


Pronunciation of "itinera":

The speaker of the full sentence says "i-TI-ne-ra"; meanwhile, the speaker when you hover over the word says "I-ti-NE-ra", or perhaps "i-ti-NE-ra". Which is correct?


It's a simple and definitive answer:

since itinera is a word of more than 3 syllables, we simply look at the "second syllable from the end of the word," or the PENULT, and see if it's long; the penult is decisive.

Since the e of itinera is SHORT ( = it doesn't have a long mark, as in vidēre , nor is it followed by two consonants, as with puella ), it does NOT receive the stress.

The stress falls back to the preceding syllable (i.e, the 3rd from the end, or the "antepenult"): pronounce it as, "i-TI-ne-ra."


I went "Mercurius rather than Iuppiter rules journeys". Marked wrong :(. Flagged.


Travel may be a better translation than trips.


I agree. The singular "travel" sounds better in English, because it encompasses travels, journeys, peregrinations, expeditions, treks and the rather lightweight trips. It is "travel" as a concept, much as we use it in "Travel broadens the mind".


What is the best Mercury rules trips, or Mercury rules journeys?

As a trip is short, and a journey is long. Is it idiomatic?


It's really irrelevant, isn't? Whether you are traveling a long distance or a short distance, whether it's one way or round trip, if you're traveling, you're traveling, and Mercury's your man, god, whatever. Right? And if length of travel distinguishes a "trip" from a "journey" in English (which I am not ready to agree with you on), are there different words for them in Latin? Or does itinera rule over them both? In which case, "trip" and "journey" would be equally valid translations, right? To me "journey" has a bit more pathos or gravitas, more of the wanderlust or perhaps an unfortunate circumstance or a glorious hope. I hardly think that we would say that refugees were taking a trip to Greece. More of a journey, perhaps a tragic one, perhaps an odyssey. Speaking of which, what about Leopold Bloom in his travels about Dublin? Didn't get very far really, did he? Just about the neighborhood. Didn't make it to China. Didn't make it to England. Didn't even make to Cork. His travel was relatively short in distance, I think we could agree on that. But was it a trip? I don't think so. More like a journey. Yep, I'm going to say it, more like an Odyssey.


Sometimes you scratch your head over these Latin lessons, but take a look at this project: https://www.thesaurus.badw.de/en/tll-digital/tll-open-access.html


I'm pretty sure almost everyone will want to read this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/30/arts/latin-dictionary.html


Why is"travel" not accepted?


I guess they want you to show that you know that itinera is a plural noun--travels, journeys (as opposed to the singular, iter).






I thought Loki ruled trips. Oh wait, that’s a different sort of trip...


Yes, I know, wrong pantheon


It's not only about this particular expression, but the male voice sounds to me like it's saying "itinnera" with the "n" doubled (or geminated). I can't help but have serious doubts about Duo teaching us Classical Latin pronunciation, which they say they do, and which I'm more intersted in than grammar and vocabulary.

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