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Jacta est Alea
Posted by Lee Passarella on January 23, 2017, 11:49 pm
In his review of orchestral works by Henry Cotter Nixon, reviewer John Quinn writes, "Jacta est Alea is the third of Nixon’s three concert overtures. The title means ‘the die is cast’ though, at the risk of seeming pedantic, I think the correct Latin rendition should be ‘Alea jacta est.’" Now, while I was tremendously bad Latin student, one thing I do remember is that because Latin is a highly inflected language, the position of words in a phrase or clause is immaterial. It still makes sense no matter the order of the words. Thus, presumably the clause could be rendered "Est jacta alea" without damage to the meaning, though Cicero would probably find it less than pleasingly literary. Anyhow, I always find Mr. Quinn's reviews readable and authoritative.
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