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  5. "Dei nos non rogant."

"Dei nos non rogant."

Translation:The gods do not ask us.

September 26, 2019



The mood has shifted a bit from The Ballad of the Drunken Parrot...


From Quentin Tarantino to Ingmar Bergman


"Rogare" is really more about prayer and petition, than merely "ask," at least in this context. I would suggest "pray to" or "petition," but I know they won't be accepted.


In Portuguese, rogar is used commonly in prayer by Catholics when they ask a saint to intercede on their behalf. Now I know where they got this word from.


It is the same in Spanish, but in Spanish you can also do "rogar" to people. It is something like to ask insistently and emotively to someone to do something.


Yes, but "pray" would be ambiguous, with "gods" in the sentence.

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In Latin as in English, you can easily distinguish between "We do not pray to the gods" and "The gods do not pray to us".


Why not “gods do not beg us”?


To beg = rogare, I think.


"Beg & beseech": orare et obsecrare.


In sooth, the gods ask us not, but unbendingly hurl peacocks, heedless of both human and pavonine prayers.


Dei nos imperant (I suppose!).


Well they're gods, what do you expect?


How is this differentiated from "We gods do not ask"? The word order? Something else?


The ending on the verb makes clear, when a 3rd person plural ( = THEY) is the subject: verb ends in -nt. Deī ... rogant : "(they) the gods are asking."

When it's a 1st person plural subject ( = WE), the verb ends in -mus: Nōs deī ... rogāmus : "We, the gods, are asking."

(Notice that the word nōs is ambiguous: the same form is both a nominative (subject) form, "we, " and an accusative (object) form, "us." )

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The verb conjugation, and the subject pronoun can be omitted.

Dei non rogamus.



While Dei is masculine plural, it is inclusive of all divinity, correct? Thus, "the gods and goddesses do not ask us", would be more explicitly correct in contemporary English, correct?


But they're perfectly capable of expressing "gods and goddesses," by adding deaeque , if they want to stress that 'deities of both sexes' are involved.


Perhaps. But they are also perfectly capable of referring to "gods and goddesses" with dei. In fact, I would bet that this is the more common way of doing so in Latin. But I'm no expert. Let's have an expert chime in. I'm thinking of St. Paul (the author of many of the Epistles in the New Testament). It's Greek and not Latin, I know, but I think that Greek and Latin are the same in this regard. He never ever says, "Brothers and Sisters." He says, "Brothers". [I'm not going to try to reproduce the Greek, I'm tired.] But if you have read a Bible, other than the King James or like, you've probably read, "brothers and sisters". When addressing or referring to a group of mixed gender, in Greek and I believe in Latin, you simply just used the masculine. It was just the grammatical convention of the day. Think of the use of the word "men" to generically refer to "humanity" until recently. "All men are cerated equal," for instance. So, dei, unless otherwise explicitly referring exclusively to male deities, refers to all deities, male and female inclusive. I think. Maybe I'm wrong. Anyone?


Everything you say is perfectly correct, so far as I know.

I think I may have misunderstood your original comment.

While I would agree that dei , especially in a religious context (as opposed to a purely mythological or literary one), is inclusive of all deities, male and female, I would not agree that, accordingly, "gods and goddesses" is the best way to translate it.

I would save " and goddesses" for when that word (deae) was really there, in the text, and translate dei as "the gods" or "the divinities."

Maybe a footnote could point out that the term was inclusive of the female deities, too, if you thought that was important.

(Of course, the masculine gender in Latin was both inclusive, i.e., gender-NON-specific, and specifically masculine, as it was in English until recently.)

New Testament Greek is not necessarily the best guide to usage in classical Latin, but the gender inclusivity stuff is certainly comparable.


Yes, Greek and Latin, different languages. It was just an example that came to mind. But now I'm curious, how was that translated into Latin? I'm guessing Jerome wrote fratres and not fratres et sorores.

Anyway, yeah, it could be relegated to a footnote. But it's a grammatical rule or convention at least that should be pointed out. I'm sure it will pop up now and again and could be confusing otherwise.

May you be blessed by the gods (and implicitly the goddesses as well).


And the same to you, most heartily!

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