“Romani ite domum” Dep’t

Kevin Drum wants to say “bring ’em home” in Latin. Apparently the closest you can get is “Copiae subducentes sunt.”

Kevin Drum thinks the “out now” crew needs a good simple slogan, in Latin of course:

Cato ended every speech with “Carthago delenda est!” &#8212 “Carthage must be destroyed.” We need just the opposite. Does anyone know the Latin for “We must leave Iraq”?

Lowry Heussler checked with Caesar’s Commentaries and finds that the First Hairy Man uses the verb subduco to refer to the withdrawal of military units. The soliders themselves are simply copiae. So the closest she can get in Latin to “Bring the troops home” is

Copiae subducentes sunt

that is, “Troops must be withdrawn.”

Who’s going to make the bumper sticker?

Footnote One of Kevin’s commenters suggests

Extricatia clusterfuckum prontus

which is brilliant, but I’m not sure clusterfuckum is correct; the ablative (in this case, the ablative of separation) of the second-declension noun clusterfuckus would be clusterfucko, wouldn’t it?

Second footnote In case you were wondering about Romani ite domum

Update Hekebolos, who claims to have been a Latin major in between posts, disagrees:

Not subducentes, but rather subducendae. The gerundive passive periphrastic construction is the proper way to express this type of necessity.

Of course. The gernundive passive periphratic. I knew that.

Hekebolos adds:

Subducendae copiae (or extricandae) is the best way of conveying the proper emphasis.

Lowry Heussler agrees about the ending:

I was thinking that duco is a fourth conjugation verb, so I jumped to a fourth declension ending for the gerundive. But your pal is right. Should be first declension feminine nominative plural, to match copiae.

… which is exactly what I was about to say. How could it be anything but a first declension feminine nominative plural?

I like Extricandae copiae. Short and punchy, and “rescuing” is just the right image. Now who wants to make the bumper sticker?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on ““Romani ite domum” Dep’t”

  1. Extricandae copiae!

    EXTRICANDAE COPIAE!….On Sunday I asked for a nice Latin translation of "We must leave Iraq." Something pithy and Cato-like. On Monday, after much discussion of the gerundive passive periphrastic and the first declension feminine nominative plural, Ma…

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