Not Bad!

Okay, so I’m a little proud of myself…

Not the same words, but the same idea

Different words, same idea

I’ve been taking a class via FutureLearn on the Archaeology of Portus (a major (man-made!) port on the west coast of Italy during the 1st-6th centuries AD).  Yesterday, one of the lessons suggested we try to translate a Roman inscription from the Trajanic Period of the port.

[ ]
NE[ ]
TRA[ ]
DAC[ ]
I[ ]
[ ]VA INVN[ ]
[ ]DSIDVE V[ ]
[ ] PERFN[ ]

Most experts fill in the blanks this way:

[Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi]
NE[rvae f(ilius) Nerva]
TRA[ianus Aug(ustus) Germ(anicus)]
DAC[icus trib(unicia) pot(estate)]
I[mp(erator) co(n)s(ul) p(ater) p(atriae)]
FOSSAM [fecit/restitui iussit]
[q]VA INVN[dationes Tiberis]
[ad]SIDVE V[rbem vexantes]
[rivo p]EREN[ni instituto arcerentur]
— from the lecture

or like this:

[Imp(erator) Caes(ar) divi] / Ne[rvae f(ilius) Nerva] / Tra[ianus Aug(ustus) Germ(anicus)] / Dac[icus trib(unicia) pot(estate)] / i[mp(erator) — co(n)s(ul) — p(ater) p(atriae)] / fossam [restitui iussit] / [q]ua inun[dationes Tiberis] / [a]dsidue u[rbem vexantes] / [in] per<e>n[ne arcerentur] — from here

This was my translation:

The Divine Emperor Ceasar,
sinew of Nerva (adopted Trajan)
“Trajan’s full name” (lazy; didn’t write it out)
tribune of Dacic (Dacia?)
Consul General, Father of his Country
Made the river/canal to be restored
when the inundation (flooding?) of the Tiber
constantly denied the city its regular flow of trade

This was our teacher’s translation.  Not exactly the same…  but I think I was getting the idea through:

Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, son of the deified Nerva, Conquer of Germany and Dacia, Tribune, Consul, Father of the Nation made a canal by which the floods of the Tiber which continually troubled the City were kept away

Not bad, if I do say so myself.  😀

Of course, the rest of my personal progress is a bit less inspiring.  Of my ROW80 goals, I’ve done very little.  I’m even falling behind again on my critique group work.  As much as I love FutureLearn, I’ve found I cannot take one of their classes without exploring the topics deeply, spending several more hours a week on each class than the anticipated timeframe.

I did get a small bit of writing done in the UnNamed Story.  This means I have something to post for  WIPpet Wednesday!

Following right on the heels of last week’s piece, here are eight sentences for the 8th of February

Ytramli shook his head, just barely avoiding, it seemed, to snarl at the implication that a priestess was somehow of a lesser calling than a priest, though among most Acarians it was the standard view. He shook his head. “It will hurt her—actually it will destroy her among our own people. To offer herself in this manner for Val’s defense is tantamount to offering herself as chattel. Slaves have been, and are sometimes, still used by some of the temples for ritual supplications when the priestess is too old for the physical acts or—.” The man stopped short and shrugged. “It doesn’t matter why they are used. The point is that doing this will destroy her among the Clans.”

Amused? Bemused? Want more? Head over to the WIPpet linky and visit some our other awesome members. Merci, merci, Emily Witt, for graciously hosting the WIPpet.

Thank you to the ROW80 community for just being there. 🙂

12 responses to “Not Bad!

  1. Good job on the translation. And very interesting snippet.


  2. I too love those online classes but have stopped taking any for they distract me away from writing, even as I’m fascinated by times and cultures other than our own. Your translation catches more of the poetry of the words, I thought. Wouldn’t that be closer to how people use language — even when simple words are used? The plot thickens for your WIPpet snippet. Though Ytramli shakes his head twice, his emotions are very clear. Have a great week!


    • I find that every online class I’ve taken has added to my writing somehow, even if I find myself distracted for a time. That said… they do take away a lot of the “free time” I was counting on for writing.

      Ytramli is a fun character. He’s very much interested only in what effects those he cares for… and he doesn’t show his concern openly often, so it’s easy to not know where his loyalties lie save in moments like this.


  3. I’m bemused. And amused, because I know why Ytramli is Ytramli (but I won’t divulge; no worries!).

    I tend to want to focus on the classes but instead get pulled away into other shinies. I’m OK with that; a dabble here, a delving there. Life is a banquet of intriguing possibilities! =D


    • Ytramli has become his own person over the years, and he’s very much in charge of his choices and actions. Possibly more than any of my other characters… He also is always more than hip-deep in any plots or complications that ‘Listii might be involved in. He’s Alanii’s cousin, but he considers ‘Listii more of a brother than anyone else.

      Dabbling is a perfect way to handle those Futurelearn classes. The fact that the materials are always there for reference even after the official end of class is incredible. It’s a format that works very well for me.


  4. I just flicked through your last few WIPpets – I’ve been rather dismal at keeping up. This sounds like a very tricky situation, one borne from desperation (on the priestess’ part – I think I missed her name). I like the conflict in attitudes and I really like that Ytramli sees the reality of the situation.


    • She does feel she HAS to do this thing, but… I think her own desperation is partly of her own creation, Or at least a sense of guilt about the past that she’s trying to make amends on before it’s too late. Not the smartest of moves… but people do stupid things when they are reacting instead of acting

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Or…? Agh! I must admit I’m more interested in why he stopped short rather than what he didn’t say.

    I am so impressed with your translation! I studied Latin at school, but that is waaaay beyond me. So clever! 🙂

    (Sorry for the late comment – I’m catching up before this Wednesday.)


    • (Well, as you can see, I got swamped in answering MY comments, so you certainly shouldn’t feel a need to apologize, Debbie).

      Why he stopped short is as much (or possibly more) of the story as anything. Glad that effect came through then.

      As for the Latin translations… Ever since I took FutureLearn’s Hadrian’s Wall class last year, I’ve been obsessed with figuring out these plaques and transcriptions. I’m definitely not to where I trust myself yet, but I do know enough to scold Google Translate on crappy work a bit here and there now. 😀


  6. Oh, that sounds fun! I took a FutureLearn class about England in the time of Richard III. I’m always on the lookout for another interesting class…


    • I loved the Richard the III class (though I never quite finished it… like all of their classes, the amount of classwork required is extreme, especially when all the supplementary material is added in too). There are changes going on at FutureLearn though; they make sense, but they will limit my participation some. I’ll be only taking a class when I’m sure I can finish it now.