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Goodness is nothing in the furness of art


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11:57 Jun 28, 2007
English to Latin translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / a quote
English term or phrase: Goodness is nothing in the furness of art
This is a quote from Mozart.
Ian Bieszczad-Roley
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:18

Summary of answers provided
5Bonitas nihil habet furnacis quae ars est.
Joseph Brazauskas

Discussion entries: 4



1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
goodness is nothing in the furness of art
Bonitas nihil habet furnacis quae ars est.

Lit., 'Goodness has nothing of the furnace which is art' A patitive genitive depending on 'nihil' or some similar word with negative force is often emphatic

Note added at 1 day1 hr (2007-06-29 13:19:42 GMT)

Dear Ian,

Regarding your query whether there could be a Latin version of just "furnace of art" as a word for word translation, the answer is, yes, there easily could be, viz., by placing 'furnax' and 'ars' in apposition. In Latin, this is ordinarily effected by making the two substantives agree in case and, so far as is possible, in number and gender as well. The result--'ars furnax'--is, however, prosaic and likely to be misconstrued, But there is a less common form of apposition, restricted to poetry and elevated prose, whereby a second, qualifying appositive is put in the genitive, in a fashion precisely parallel to the English construction, viz., 'furnax artis', '(the) furnace of art'. This type of apposition is called 'partitive' or 'restrictive' and is found in good classical authors, notably Salust and Livy, though Cicero and Caesar do not employ it. Cf. Gildersleeve & Lodge, Latin Grammar, § 322; Allen & Greenough, New Latin Grammar, § 214f. (who considers this construction to be actually a form of the genitive of material); C. Bennett, A Latin Grammar, § 202 (who calls this construction an 'appositional genitive'). Some examples culled from the above reference works are:

oppidum Antiochiae, the city of Antioch
poena mortis, the penalty of death
ars scribendi, the art of writing
nomen insaniae (for 'nomen insania'), the word madness


Note added at 4 days (2007-07-02 17:31:11 GMT)

'Bonitas nihil habet in furnace artis' is possible.

Joseph Brazauskas
United States
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PRO (3): BrigitteHilgner, Chiara Righele, Joseph Brazauskas

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Jun 28, 2007 - Changes made by Joseph Brazauskas:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO

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