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  5. "Mercurius hastam non contorq…

"Mercurius hastam non contorquet."

Translation:Mercurius does not hurl a spear.

September 2, 2019



Why not "throw"? Hurl and throw convey the same notion.


While I don't know about "throw," two of the translations of contorquere (which I presume is the infinitive of contorquet) are fling and brandish. From the former, it wouldn't be too great of a leap to get hurl or throw, but the nature of these english words suggests it doesn't meant something quite as "neat" as just throwing a spear.


Agree. It implies a rotating move, like in the modern Italian contorquere, meaning to twist, to wriggle, to contort (contort = roll on oneself).


In Italian it's contòrcere, conjugated as lèggere (contòrco, contòrci, contòrce, contorciàmo, contorcéte, contòrcono - the accents are shown for teaching purposes, we don't really write them down, and note the alternation of the sound k/ʧ of the letter c)
Knowing Latin contorqēre, one would expect it to be contorcére, while an Italian would expect the Latin to be contorquĕre, but during the journey from Latin to Italian a lot of verbs changed conjugation (like admonēre, which became ammonire).
To contort is contòrcersi (mi contorco, ti contorci, etc...)


Isn't wielding a translation of contorquere? Wouldn't that also make sense?


I think that to wield can be a translation of contorquere in some contexts, but it's probably not the best one. The trap of translating contorquere with "wielding" is that you miss several meanings:

-the move of the weapon, rotating.
-the fact that contorquere can be used to put the weapon in the enemy's body.
Wielding would only mean that you have the weapon in your hand.

Brandish seems to me better than to wield, as it describes better the "contorquere" move.

Brandish with the meaning of "to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly", (not brandish with the meaning of wielding)


i think contorqueo' definitely has a primary meaning oftwirl', twist',brandish' with hurl ' as a secondary one. As has already been pointed out, it would be better to use a straightforward verb likeiacio; or emitto' forhurl, `throw'.


It could be a spear, the spear, or his spear.


From my reading, contorquet used as hurl or throw was more to do with hurling insults than objects. Would “brandish” not be better?


Contorquere is often found in relation with weapons. Weapons that you can be thrown. "Hastam contorquere" and its variant can be found very often in the Latin texts.


This very poetic use of "contorquere" is a bit puzzling when more prosaic words for "throw, cast, hurl" are available, like "iacere", "conicere", and "mittere".


Throwing (iacere) and Contorquere (hurling, twisting in the air): I think it's 2 different meaning.


I should have thought that conicere would be a better choice of verb. I understand that it is a compound based on iacere - to throw with the prefix con- used as an intensifier, which would seem appropriate when "to hurl" is defined as "to throw something with a lot of force, usually in an angry or violent way" (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/hurl).


Why does this particular voice sound so agitated? Does it make him mad that Mercurius does not hurl a spear?


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