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Q: Poetry ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Poetry
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: hastings-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 26 Jul 2003 11:42 PDT
Expires: 25 Aug 2003 11:42 PDT
Question ID: 235402
Translate the Latin in Jonathan Swift's "Resolutions When I Come to be
Old" poem - Et eos qui hereditatem captant odisse ac vitare
Subject: Re: Poetry
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 26 Jul 2003 13:42 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello hastings,

The context of the phrase in the original is:
“Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a
young woman, et eos qui hereditatem captant, odisse ac vitare” (A
Gulliver’s Travels web site created by Lee Jaffe. This page also has
an image of the original script – click to enlarge).

In this sentence, Jonathan Swift promises not to listen to flattery,
and not to believe that a young woman could love him, (continues in

****** and to detest and avoid those [young women] who are chasing
after an inheritance******

(ie those young women who would possibly try to flatter him and say
they loved him, in order to marry him and thus get his money after his

To solve this query, I went to “Words” by William Whitaker, a
Latin-English dictionary which recognises the grammatical form  of the
input words.  You can use it online at:
but it can also be downloaded for local use on your own computer. 

The literal translation of each word is given in parentheses: et (and)
eos (those, the same ones – in the accusative form) qui (who)
hereditatem (inheritance – in the accusative form) captant
(try/long/aim for, desire; entice; hunt legacy; try to
catch/grasp/seize/reach – plural form, relates back to the “those” of
eos) odisse (hate, dislike) ac (and, and also, and besides) vitare
(avoid, shun; evade)

It is curious that no translation of this phrase appears to be
available on the Web, with the exception of one in Spanish
and one in Danish!

Search strategy:   1.  “odisse ac vitare” 2. Latin English online
hastings-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
This was a great answer.  More info than I needed, but I was
fascinated, as will all the people waiting for me to translate.

Subject: Re: Poetry
From: tehuti-ga on 28 Jul 2003 04:12 PDT
Glad to have helped, and thank you for the tip.

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