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devait servir à supporter

English translation: must have been used to hold

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:devait servir à supporter
English translation:must have been used to hold
Entered by: angela3thomas

20:10 Jul 22, 2017
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Archaeology / ancient art
French term or phrase: devait servir à supporter
Hi again!
DOC: 1907 Museum catalog of ancient Egyptian mirrors. Catalog entry.
CONTEXT: 44102. Moule gabarit pour manche de miroir ou écrin de miroir. - Bois. -- [....] New paragraph: Cette tablette a pu servir de creux à mouler, moitié par moitié, des manches de miroirs en matière plastique, en fritte sableuse ou terre à émailler; elle a pu également servir de matrice à battre les placages d'or ou d'argent. Les godets à paroi évasée jouaient-ils, en pareil cas, un rôle analogue et complémentaire? Il est à remarquer que leurs deux diamètres ne correspondent ni au diamètre du collier, ni à celui de la partie la plus renflée du bulbe, ni à celui du manche en question. Peut-être servaient-ils à broyer ou à malaxer les poudres colorantes dont se composait l'émail. Des traces de bleu y adhèrent encore. Le vide de la partie supérieure de la tablette, qui paraît intentionnel, ***devait, en pareil cas, servir à supporter*** le disque dans l'opération de l'emmanchement.
Ignore the 44012 on the plate, sic for 44102.
https://books.google.com/books?id=9UoXAAAAYAAJ last plate in the book
ATTEMPT: The upper part of the tablet, which seems to have been left empty intentionally, was, in such cases, used to support the disk in the process of affixing the handle.
ISSUE: Nuance: or is it more like:
could be used to support/could or would serve as a support for/were intended to support/was meant to support.
Basically I've confused myself.
Thanks in advance for any insight!
angela3thomas
United States
must have been used to hold
Explanation:
Of course, this is a 'must' in the form of a supposition! Would we call that a 'suppository must'?! I suppose not...

Note that 'vide' probably doesn't mean 'left empty': when it is used as a countable like this 'le vide', it more likely means a hole, hollow, etc. — you may be able to tell what kind it is from the picture; I assume it is a kind of narrow, curved-bottomed hollow that would allow the mirror to be stoond on edge; or perhaps just a shalllow round depression to hold it flat...

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Note added at 10 heures (2017-07-23 06:20:42 GMT)
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Oh, and "en pareil cas" here probably means 'in that case' rather than 'in such cases'.

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Note added at 10 heures (2017-07-23 06:23:12 GMT)
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We had this sort of use of 'devait' in a LudoZ not that many months ago, and ther was a lot of debate about it, as people though 'must' seemed too strong; but I don't see any problem with what is after all normal EN usage in a historical context, when talking about how it is supposed something worked / was used, etc. — "It must have been a hard life being a mariner on sailing ships."
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:29
Grading comment
Thanks so much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4must have been used to hold
Tony M


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
must have been used to hold


Explanation:
Of course, this is a 'must' in the form of a supposition! Would we call that a 'suppository must'?! I suppose not...

Note that 'vide' probably doesn't mean 'left empty': when it is used as a countable like this 'le vide', it more likely means a hole, hollow, etc. — you may be able to tell what kind it is from the picture; I assume it is a kind of narrow, curved-bottomed hollow that would allow the mirror to be stoond on edge; or perhaps just a shalllow round depression to hold it flat...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 heures (2017-07-23 06:20:42 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oh, and "en pareil cas" here probably means 'in that case' rather than 'in such cases'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 heures (2017-07-23 06:23:12 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

We had this sort of use of 'devait' in a LudoZ not that many months ago, and ther was a lot of debate about it, as people though 'must' seemed too strong; but I don't see any problem with what is after all normal EN usage in a historical context, when talking about how it is supposed something worked / was used, etc. — "It must have been a hard life being a mariner on sailing ships."

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 96
Grading comment
Thanks so much!
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