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bpiguy asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Which is proper Latin grammar - "via in ora silvae" or "via in oram silvae" - "road at the edge of the woods"?

I'm getting close, and I want to get it right, because I'm going to have a sign made up. As far as I can tell, "via in ora/oram silvae" means "road at (alongside) the edge of the woods," where "silvae" is in the genitive case. I'm still unsure about "ora" versus "oram." Does the Latin "in" require the accusative or ablative, and which is correct -- "ora" or "oram"? Thanks.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The one with the accusative (in oram) means a direction, the one with the ablative (in ora) means a place, So your fitst one would mean "at (or "inside") the edge of the forest", the other one "into the ..."

  • 1 decade ago

    In takes both the accusative and ablative cases, depending upon the context. The general rule is that the ablative is used for place where, the accusative for motion towards.

    Many prepositions in Latin have multiple meanings, so it is possible to have several correct answers.

    Via in ora silvae

    Via ad oram silvae

    Via apud oram silvae

    All three can be translated "road at the edge of the woods". The first one can also be translated "road on the edge of the woods", and it has the added benefit of being the shortest of the three.

    I did not use it for your previous question because I tend to use ad for at, as it is the more obvious word. When translating into another language, the easier, more commonly used words are typically chosen first, as they come more readily to mind than the words that are using secondary definitions.

    In usually means in or on, upon, among, although it can also mean at. However, using in for at in this sense is usually reserved for towns, harbors, and villas, according to my dictionary. It is best translated as "on" for your purposes.

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