Be Well – A Grammatical Commentary / by Anthony Gibbins

Today’s page has three sentences. The bare bones of the first sentence are Alanus canem filio dedit Alanus gave a dog to his son. Alanus is described as noster our, an affectionate epithet. In apposition to Alanus is pater benignus a kind father. In apposition to filio is his son’s name, Scipioni. His name, of course, is Scipio, but words in apposition must match the case of the word they are in apposition to. filio is Dative, so Scipioni must be Dative also (just as pater benignus is Nominative to match the case of Alanus). canem is described by the Adjective parvum small. The entire sentence begins with the Adverb nuper recently, clarifying when Alan gave Scipio the dog. Finally, the narrator interrupts her own statement with - ut narravi - as I narrated. ut with an Indicative Verb is most often translated as as. You may remember that the narrator told this part of the story in episode 8.

Recently – as I have narrated – our Alan, a kind father, gave a small dog to his son, Scipio.

The bare bones of the second sentence are tabernaria illos valere iussit The shopkeeper ordered them to be well. This sounds a lot stranger in English than it does in Latin. A common way to bid someone farewell in Latin is the Imperative Verb vale be well! (to one person) or valete be well! (to more than one person). Therefore, to say The shopkeeper said goodbye to them we must say, in Latin, The shopkeeper ordered them to be well. illos they is described by a Numerical Adjective tres three and a Present Participle discedentes departing. discedentes is expanded upon with a Prepositional Phrase, a zoopolio from the pet store.

The shopkeeper said goodbye to the three of them as they proceeded from the pet store.

The bare bones of the third sentence are psittacus ‘valete’ iteravit The parrot repeated ‘valete’. The parrot is described as loquax talkative.

The talkative parrot repeated ‘Goodbye’.