Disputatio:Quinquertium

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Iacobe, me dolet, sed hanc syllabam paene rescripsi eo consilio, ut magis elocutioni Festi congruat. Meà quidem sententià melius est hanc symbolam pentathlo antiquo dicare (ut in aliis quoque Vicipaediis fit), sed sine dubio symbolà q.e. "Quinqertium modernum" sive "Pentathlum modernum" ege(bi)mus. ---Neander 01:30, 10 Septembris 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the improvements! I don't have Festus at hand, and was relying on a footnote in another publication, and on the phrasing in the English wiki, which—in "starting with the long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw, followed by the stadion (a short foot race) and wrestling"—seems to distinguish the first three items as a group from the second two; maybe that's just bad writing on the part of the English authors. You removed the links for each of the athletic events, but they should probably be restored, because each event will one day have its own article, as it already does in the major wikis. Whether a single term should cover both an ancient five-sport event and a modern one can be debated; bear in mind that the Olympic pentathlon (whether ancient or modern) isn't the only kind of pentathlon. A couple of questions. (1) Why do you prefer ars athletica to ludus athleticus? Is it to echo the etymology of quinquertium? or is a larger purpose in play? (2) Why do you prefer constare ex to consistere in? My English-to-Latin dictionaries give both verbs as suitable options for English consist of and don't explain any differences between them. IacobusAmor 13:13, 10 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
Oh, so little time, so much to do ... :-) But your thought-provoking questions prompted me to long answers.
"(1) Why do you prefer ars athletica to ludus athleticus?"
Well, when I was writing it, I had a look at Paulus Diaconus' epitome of Festus. (I'll add the quote in the "res".) Festus refers to cursus, saltus, etc as artes, and with good reason, because ars is something one acquires through exercitatio (of course, indoles is needed, too, as a necessary condition). Now that you pointed to the page "Ludus athleticus" (formerly: "Ars athletica"), I took a quick look at the long-winding discussion. After all, it didn't dawn upon me, why ars athletica had to be changed into "ludus athleticus". Ludus (in singular) is what is done in play, without real competition: If you look at how ludus is used by Latin authors, "ludus athleticus" is almost an oxymoron: playing at athletics, or something. I'm sure that "ludus athleticus" isn't attested in any Vicipaedia-independent source. Ars athletica, instead, is attested in Gellius (15.16.2), and athletica, in Plinius (Nat. 7.205). ||| In plural, ludi denotes public games or spectacles, but this kind of institutional fact doesn't belong here.
It appears that some of Vicipaedia's other articles need to be changed! IacobusAmor 10:31, 11 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
"(2) Why do you prefer constare ex to consistere in?"
Standard vocabularies tend to lump words and their meanings together without too much paying heed to semantic nuances. While admitting that constare ex and consistere in are semantic relatives, and that there may very well be contexts in which they're interchangeable, a closer look at how they're used in Latin reveals that they're not exact synonyms. This is my take on the difference:
  1. X constat ex <partibus>
  2. Y consistit in <condicionibus necessariis>.
While the former expresses the COMPOSED_OF relation (cf. Cic. Nat.deor. 1.35.98 homo ex animo constat et corpore), the latter doesn't necessarily. When Caesar (B.G. 6.22) wrote maior pars victus eorum in lacte, caseo, carne consistit, he was referring to these things as means of living, not necessarily describing the composition of the Germans' food palette. Now, because quinquertium was/is sort of a palette of various artes, I think constare ex is preferable here. --Neander 20:52, 10 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I fully understand you here, largely because is composed of and consists of have identical senses in English. Style guides that recommend avoiding the passive will prefer consists of to is composed of ; copyeditors, especially when wordcounts are important, will change is composed of to consists of (two words for three!). IacobusAmor 10:31, 11 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
Maybe it's the preposition that counts. You didn't mention consists in. I agree that constat ex translates consists of. My point was that consistit in doesn't translate consists of but rather consists in. Consider for instance (Cic.Tusc. 5.41) atque haec certe non ita se haberent, nisi omne bonum in una honestate consisteret which I'd translate 'and surely this would not be so, unless all good consisted only and alone in (*of, methinks) moral virtue'. Neander 19:20, 11 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mention consists in because it's so exceedingly rare in American English as to be negligible. The OED tries to distinguish between that and consists of by saying that consists in = "to be embodied in; to be composed of" and consists of = "to be made up or composed of." So you see that, for most practical purposes, it's a distinction without a difference! IacobusAmor 12:32, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)

That's not how I read OED: it seems to be saying that sense d of "Consist in" is the usual modern one, as distinct from sense e which is more-or-less synonymous with "Consist of". This is the relevant section from the OED CD-ROM:

  • 6. consist in: to have its being in:
    • † a. To be, exist, reside, or inhere in; to be vested, located, comprised in. Obs.
    • 1526 Pilgr. Perf. (W. de W. 1531) 1 The selfe pilgrymage, whiche consysteth or standeth in vij dayes iourney. 1535 Coverdale 1 Chron. xxx. [xxix]. 12 In thy hande consisteth power and might. 1583 Stubbes Anat. Abus. ii. 99 In whome doth the election of the minister or pastor consist? 1594 Shakes. Rich. III, iv. iv. 406 In her, consists my Happinesse, and thine. 1611 Bible Luke xii. 15 A mans life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 1674 Playford Skill Mus. i. x. 30 The usual Moods may not here be mist, In them much cunning doth consist. 1820 Shelley Œdipus i. 145 They think their strength consists in eating beef.
    • † b. To have its essence or essential character in.
    • 1594 Carew tr. Huarte’s Exam. Wits (1616) 290 The male sex consisteth in this, that the seed be hot and dry at the time of his forming.
    • † c. To be, exist, or be engaged in. Obs.
    • 1606 G. W[oodcocke] tr. Hist. Ivstine 38 b, He promised to discharge them of the warres and danger they consisted in.
    • d. To be comprised or contained in (actions, conditions, qualities, or other things non-material); to be constituted of. Now the usual sense.
    • 1576 Fleming Panopl. Epist. 166 For, mine advise, at that time, consisted in this point. 1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. lxx. §2 Offices and duties of religious joy..wherein the hallowing of festival times consisteth. 1667 Milton P.L. viii. 589 In loving thou dost well, in passion not, Wherein true Love consists not. a1677 Barrow in Beauties of B. (1846) 55 Recreations..consisting merely in rustic efforts, or in petty sleights of bodily strength and activity. 1728 R. Morris Ess. Anc. Archit. 36 The Sensibility of its consisting in a Conformity to our Ideas. 1736 Butler Anal. i. iii. Wks. 1874 I. 48 Moral government consists..in rewarding the righteous, and punishing the wicked. 1818 Jas. Mill Brit. India II. v. viii. 673 His administration consisted in a perpetual change of ill-concerted measures. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) V. 45 Not every one can tell in what the beauty of a figure consists.
    • e. To be embodied in; to be composed of. arch. Now usually to consist of: see 7.
    • 1614 Selden Titles Hon. 288 As our Commons, which consist in Freeholders. 1735 Johnson tr. Lobo’s Voy. Abyssinia 264 The whole Revenue of the Emperor consists in Lands and Goods. 1760 Goldsm. Cit. World xcvi. §2 Your clothing consisted in an hempen bag tied round the neck with a string. 1809 Kendall Trav. II. xlvii. 143 The timber consists almost exclusively in black pine and oak. 1845 Stephen Laws Eng. I. 168 Things real are usually said to consist in lands, tenements, and hereditaments. 1875 Jevons Money (1878) 23 The fee consists in some sort of cattle.
    • † f. Formerly, consist to do was = consist in doing. Obs.
    • 1547-64 Bauldwin Mor. Philos. (Palfr.) v. ii, The high vertues..consysteth not onely to suffer the passions of the body, but also to dissemble them of the soule.
  • 7. consist of: to be made up or composed of; to have as its constituent substance or elements. (Of was here orig. = from, out of. Consist of was formerly also used where consist in is now used.)
    • 1565-73 Cooper Thesaurus s.v. Consto, De principijs rerum, è quibus omnia constant. Cicero. Of which all things do consist, or are compact and made. 1597 Hooker Eccl. Pol. v. lxv. §15 The metal or matter whereof it consisted. 1601 Shakes. Twel. N. ii. iii. 10 Does not our liues consist of the foure Elements? And. Faith so they say, but I thinke it rather consists of eating and drinking. 1667 Milton P.L. viii. 16 When I behold this goodly Frame, this World of Heav’n and Earth consisting. a1687 Petty Pol. Arith. (1690) 51 Power at Sea consists chiefly of Men, able to fight at Sea. 1792 Anecd. W. Pitt I. x. 203 No one was quite certain of whom this party consisted. 1860 Tyndall Glac. ii. i. 223 Newton imagined light to consist of particles darted out from luminous bodies. 1891 Edge Law Times XC. 395/1 An ordinary fence, consisting of a ditch and a bank.

Now, as to American English, I'm no local expert, but my Random House dictionary: college edition (1968) firmly prescribes a difference between consist in and consist of, thus:

  • Consist in, consist of are often confused. With consist of, parts, materials, or ingredients are spoken of: Bread consists of flour, yeast, etc. With consist in, something resembling a definition is given: Cooperation consists in helping one another and in sharing losses or gains.

Hope that helps ... Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:49, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)

It muddies the waters even more! :) IacobusAmor 13:04, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
I doubt you could find one North American in 10,000 who could volunteer this distinction spontaneously (or would even agree with it). As the dictionary says, the terms are "often confused." Copyeditors might well change Cooperation consists in helping one another and in sharing losses or gains to Cooperation involves helping one another and sharing losses or gains—ten words for twelve! IacobusAmor 13:03, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
Note that, at Google, "consists +in" gets 10,700,000 hits, but "consists +of" gets more than ten times as many: 117,000,000. IacobusAmor 13:07, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
If a copy-editor made that change for me, I would change it straight back. None the less, if there's a move to get Americans to say things in fewer words, I'm in favour ... Now I think I'd better stay out of this :) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 16:46, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
If copy-editors (on Iacobus's description) ruled the world, languages would run into massive impoverishment. I have used consists in in quite a few scientific papers, and no copy-editor has gotten mad at that (maybe they've got bigger worries with my language ...   :–)   ). But back to the Latin issue. My point was that, although constat ex and consistit in may be (or may seem to be) interchangeable, they tend to approach reality from different angles. While constat ex rather stresses the COMPOSED_OF relation (cf. Bread consists of flour, yeast, etc above), consistit in stresses the fact that A is the foundation or necessary condition of B. Now I see that J.E.King (Loeb edition) translates the above-quoted passage from Cic.Tusc. 5.41 as follows: '... unless all good reposed on rectitude and that alone'. Neander 17:55, 12 Septembris 2010 (UTC)
Since X is composed of Y and X consists of Y and X consists in Y can (not "must"!) mean the same thing, with the last perhaps being a weird & rare use, we seem to be running in circles, leaving American readers with the notion that any distinction being promoted between consistit in and constat ex is whimsical. Certainly Ainsworth's (eighteenth-century) dictionary has this entry (square brackets in the original):
To consist [be placed in, or made of] In re aliquâ consistĕre, ex aliquâ re constare.
That's the source of the notion that, for English consist in and consist of, those Latin patterns are equivalent. IacobusAmor 11:39, 13 Septembris 2010 (UTC)