Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you please help me with the following (all from de Senectute)

(1)“Anno ante me censorem mortuus est,” (19)
Can we say “ante meum censorem”?

(2)“qui consul iterum Sp. Carvilio conlega quiescente C. Flaminio tribuno plebis, quoad potuit, restitit …” (11)

Can we say “consule iterum” as abl. abs.? If we can, is there any difference between the two?

(3)“Sed videtis, ut senectus non modo languida atque iners non sit, verum etiam sit operosa et semper agens aliquid et moliens, tale scilicet quale cuiusque studium in superiore vita fuit.” (26)

(a)What does “ut” mean here?
(b)It is correct to think that “tale” “quale” refer to “aliquid”? if so, their case (abl.) does not seem to agree with that of “aliquid” (acc.).

(4)“Quod cum fecisse Socratem in fidibus audirem,…” (26)

What does “Quod” mean here?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1) Please note that in  “Anno ante me censorem mortuus est” (Cicero, De Senectute, 19) the expression “ante me censorem”  must be translated as “before I was censor”, for it is impossible to use in English the literal translation which  would be:
”before (ANTE followed by the accusatives ME & CENSOREM) me (ME, direct object depending on the preposition ANTE) censor  (CENSOREM, accusative as an apposition agreed with the accusative ME)".
As for “ante meum censorem”, you CANNOT use the possessive adjective “MEUM” (= “my”) instead of the personal pronoun “ME” (=me), as this expression would mean “before my censor” which would make no sense at all, of course.


(2)In “....qui consul iterum Sp. Carvilio collega quiescente, C. Flaminio tribuno plebis, quoad potuit, restitit …” (11) you CANNOT say “consule iterum” as an ablative absolute, unless you say:”me consule iterum” (literally, “me [being ] consul the second time”, i.e. ”in my consulship”) with the ablative pronoun ME as the subject of the ablative absolute which almost always needs a subject.
So, “qui, consul iterum” [ where the nominative CONSUL is an apposition to the relative pronoun QUI used as a subject related to Q.Fabius (see the previous phrase) ] means: “who, being consul the second time”, i.e. “While consul the second time...”.


(3) In “Sed videtis, ut senectus non modo languida atque iners non sit, verum etiam sit operosa et semper agens aliquid et moliens, tale scilicet quale cuiusque studium in superiore vita fuit.” (26) the conjunction UT (how) depending on VIDETIS (you see) and  introducing  SENECTUS (old age) NON MODO (not only) NON SIT (is not) LANGUIDA...(feeble)...”  means here HOW  in “But you see how old age, not only is not  feeble ...”.
Please note that VIDETIS UT(you see how)governs a kind of indirect question clause with the subjunctive.
As for  the correlative adjectives “...tale .... quale... ”, they refer to the neuter pronoun  “aliquid”  and  their case  is not an ablative, but just an accusative  neuter singular agreed  with  “aliquid” (acc.).
Note that the ablatives of TALIS and QUALIS  are TALI and QUALI, not “tale” and “quale” that can be either neuter nominative or accusative singular.
TALIS and QUALIS are, in fact, Adjectives of Two Terminations following the Third Declension.


(4)In “Quod cum fecisse Socratem in fidibus audirem,…” (26) the relative neuter pronoun QUOD  means “this /that ” and is used at the beginning of the sentence just to make a connection with the previous phrase.
So, in this context  the passage “Quod cum fecisse Socratem in fidibus audirem, vellem,,,..” literally means:” When (CUM + the subjunctive) I hear  (AUDIREM) that Socrates (SOCRATEM. accusative as subject of the infinitive clause) did (FECISSE. infinitive clause) this/that (QUOD) in the case of the lyre (IN FIDIBUS), I should  like...”, i.e. “And when I read what Socrates had done in the case of the lyre, I should  like to do that too..”

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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