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  5. "Ignem in urbe video."

"Ignem in urbe video."

Translation:I see fire in the city.

September 1, 2019



Quick, grab my fiddle.


♪I see fire . . .♪ :•)


Nero lyram movetne?


"-ne" goes on your first word in the question, and I know your sentence wasn't meant (probably) to be serious, but there's no historical evidence to suggest Nero was in Rome when the Great Fire happened, but there is evidence to suggest he was in Greece at the time.


Yes, I guess the word with -ne should go to the beginning of question:

Movetne Nero lyram?

As you've noticed (probably) my comment was intended for humour, not so much for historical accuracy. And, to be sure, I don't claim any knowledge of the Nero's whereabouts during the fire.


I heard that he was at his villa about 35 miles away but that he did come back to the city to try to do something about the fire. Owing, however, to his unpopularity and wanting to build a new palace on the land conveniently cleared of slum housing by the fire, history (written much later and then re-written and translated and interpreted by different writers) records things differently.


It's not always the case. "-ne" can be found elsewhere (even if it's less common, it's not wrong to put -ne not on the verb, and not on the first word.

The "-ne" allows to ask a question on the word that hosts it.
So, we can play with the meaning by allocating a different word order for the -ne, it's not always the verb, and it's not always the first word of the sentence. (And we can find lots of example in the Latin literature, it's not so scarce. For instance: Cum Marcone loquitur Gaius? )

Lewis & Short say:

added in a direct question, as an interrogation mark, to the first or principal word of the clause

Not the first word. By "principal", they mean that it's where the interrogation occurs. It's confirmed by other grammar books.

Georges says:

‑n(e) is attached to the focus of the question, therefore mostly at the beginning of the sentence.

Mostly, not always.


For the people who learn history, and not familiar with this event. It's about the burn of Rome in 64 AD.


Tacitus said he was in Rome, but I didn't hear that there were theories about Nero being in Greece at that time. Do you have some links that I could read please?


the calmness of the person speaking this sentence...


It sounds nearly giddy


Isn't ignis pronounced in the classical pronunciation /ing-nis/? Or ng in general ng-n?


Yes, I came here to comment this same thing. Should be EENG-nees, not EEG-nees. Gs that come before Ns are pronounced in Classical Latin as NG, and as NY in Ecclesiastical Latin (à la Italian).


It is not that certain. Could have been just gn as the orthography suggests.

BTW, marking short I using the long English EE drives my eyes crazee.



(Classical) IPA(key): /ˈiːɡ.nis/, [ˈiːŋ.n̪ɪs]
(Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈiɲ.ɲis/

So, they are 2 pronunciations in Classical:

  • the hard "g", like the first "g" of "garage".
  • and the soft "g", close from the Spanish n-tilde, or from the French "gn", (but softer). (They write it "n̪" on wikipedia, but it's really close, you can hear them here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ignis)


I also have a pronunciation question, hopefully someone will answer both of us! Where should the word stress fall on video? /'Vi:-de-o/ or /vi:-'DE-o/?


I think more important is that the vi syllable is short, not long as you suggest. And the o first person ending is always long.


The fact that the stress is on the first syllable should not necessitate making that syllable long though, as in the audio for this sentence. Vowel length and syllable stress are not tied together. I have reported this as "The audio does not sound correct."


Does "video" translate only as "see", or can it mean "to watch" too?


Only "see" or "look at". Watch would be more like spectare.


Actually “look at” would also be “Spectare.”


From Lewis & Short: In partic., to see on purpose, to look at any thing: vide sis signi quid siet, Plaut. Am. 2, 2, 155; cf.: vide, tali ubi sint, id. Most. 1, 3, 151: illud vide, os ut sibi distorsit carnufex, Ter. Eun. 4, 4, 3: vide, si non os inpudens Videtur, id. ib. 5, 1, 23; cf.: specta me, a threatening expression, Plaut. As. 1, 2, 19 al.: quin tu me vides? only look at me! i. e. see what I have done! Cic. Pis. 25, 61.—


I think it's "to see" (when talking about the first meaning of the verb) and "to look" (when used figuratively).

The thing that I notice, it's that (almost) all the meanings given in Gaffiot for videre are also in the French "voir". (the figurative meanings.). They are probably found in other Romance languages, but often, not in English, (that seems I think to have a more narrow meaning for "to see", than the Latin and French).

First, French, like in English, makes the difference between the passive "to see (voir), and the active" to watch" (regarder). Exactly the same distinction than the active listening and the passive hearing.

Gaffiot gives:

-"perceiving by the sight" (so, it's to see) =First meaning, non figurative meaning.
-to see, litt. "under your eyes": to see (because, passively. Non figurative).
-An accute sight: (=French "une vue perçant", "bien voir": acrius videre, non figurative)

-To see something that is schocking (quis hoc vidit?= French: qui a jamais vu pareille chose?)
-To feel oneself (litt. to see oneself, French "se voir". se classe hostium circumfusos videbant. Se voir entouré par l'ennemi.)
-To examine, with a figurative meaning, to note/notice a fact= (French: tu vois bien que...), eos eum tristiores vidisset (=les ayant vus un peu attristés)
-to realize (Tu aurais pu voir que...) - to assess/to examin (= (French voyons maintenant ce que...).
-Assessing you (= à te voir, latin: te vidente...)
-Take measures to avoir something (= Il faudrait voir que...), etc....


Do you consider 'see' passive? But they say: "some people may look and see nothing, others may listen and hear nothing." Thus 'see' and 'hear' involve some mental activity i. e. perceiving what is going on.


My thinking is along the lines that to look at something is much closer to watching it, then simply seeing it. In my mind looking at or watching are synonyms indicating closer attention being paid to something than simply seeing it


It's ironic though, that the word "video" has nowadays become so associated with watching, rather than plain seeing or looking. Thank you all for your help!


Cīvis Romanus, 410 Anno Domini: :O Ălăricus et Gothī jam Romae sunt?


Ignem in monte video!


I was hoping that someone had made the Ed Sheeran reference :)


The way she pronounces urbe it sounds like urbem.


Where's Crassus when you need him?


For all the "Nero lololololol": you all fell into "fake news".

The Myth of Nero Burning Rome


The drunk parrots have struck again!!!


Nero, Jupiter damn it!


Nero’s effete last words: «Qualis artifex pereo». [I perish as such a [great] artist], more famously translated as What an artist the world has lost in me! or What an artist perishes with me!

The descendant of the word «artifex», in the sense of “artist”, is preserved in the Portuguese and Spanish noun «artífice».


Are "city" and "town" not interchangeable?


Town is oppidum. I haven't noticed it appearing so far.


Pompeii in sepulchra sunt, pax post mortem. 79 Anno Domini

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