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

(1)“Audire te arbitror, Scipio, hospes tuus avitus Masinissa quae faciat hodie nonaginta natus annos;” (34)
Does “quae” refer to Masinissa, who however is male? Is the subjunctive “faciat” due to the uncertainty the speaker feels about his age?

(2)“quid quoque die dixerim, audierim, egerim, commemoro vesperi.” (38)
What is “quoque”? It doesn’t seem to mean “also”.

(3)“cuius voluptatis avidae libidines temere et ecfrenate ad potiendum incitarentur.” (39)
How to understand “cuius voluptatis avidae” in this clause?  

(4)“nemini censebat fore dubium, quin …”(41)
Why “nemini” and not “nemo”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In “Audire te arbitror, Scipio, hospes tuus avitus Masinissa quae faciat hodie nonaginta natus annos...” (Cicero, De Senectute, 34)the  interrogative pronoun “quae” -which is a neuter plural, not a nominative  feminine singular - literally means “what things/ what kind of things” and introduces an indirect question clause depending on the infinitive  AUDIRE in the infinitive clause AUDIRE TE.
In short, “hospes tuus avitus Masinissa quae faciat hodie nonaginta natus annos” is an indirect question clause depending on the infinitive clause  “audire te” that in turn depends on the main clause “arbitror” and thus “Audire te arbitror, Scipio, hospes tuus avitus Masinissa quae faciat hodie nonaginta natus annos” literally means:
” I think (ARBITROR), Scipio, that you  (TE.Subject of the infinitive clause) know (AUDIRE.verb of the infinitive clause) what things (QUAE. neuter plural as a direct object of FACIAT) is doing (FACIAT, subjunctive as a verb of the indirect question clause) today (HODIE) your (TUUS, agreed with HOSPES ) father's (AVITUS, agreed with HOSPES) host (HOSPES. Subject of the indirect question clause)Masinissa,ninety (NONAGINTA) years (ANNOS.Accusative of time/age, depending on NATUS ), being born (NATUS.Past participle of NASCOR), i.e.:
“I think, Scipio, that you know what  your father’s host Masinissa, ninety years old, is doing now”.

To sum up, the neuter plural QUAE -which is the direct object of FACIAT - does not agree with Masinissa, and  the subjunctive “faciat” is not due to the uncertainty the speaker feels about his age, but to  the indirect question clause that takes the subjunctive, according to the Sequence of Tenses(Consecutio Temporum).



(2)In “quid quoque die dixerim, audierim, egerim, commemoro vesperi” (38) literally meaning “I call to mind (COMMEMORO)in the evening(VESPERI, adverbial ablative of VESPER) what (QUID. accusative neuter, interrogative pronoun introducing the indirect question clause)every (QUOQUE.Ablative masculine singular of the adjective/pronoun QUISQUE agreed with DIE) day(DIE. ablative of Time when) I have said (DIXERIM.Perfect subjunctive of DICO as a verb of the indirect question clause), heard (AUDIERIM , Perfect subjunctive of AUDIO as a verb of the indirect question clause), or done (EGERIM. Perfect subjunctive of AGO as a verb of the indirect question clause)”, i.e.:
“In the evening I recall to my memory what during every day I have said, heard, or done”.
To sum up, in this context  “quoque” is the ablative masculine singular of  the adjective QUISQUE (every)  agreed with DIE to form an ablative of Time when. See also ”quinto quoque anno” (every fifth year).




(3)In “....nullam capitaliorem pestem quam voluptatem corporis hominibus dicebat a natura datam,cuius voluptatis avidae libidines temere et effrenate ad potiendum incitarentur” (39) literally meaning:”He (i.e. Architas) said (DICEBAT) that no (NULLAM agreed with PESTEM, subject of the infinitive clause) more deadly (CAPITALIOREM, comparative agreed with PESTEM) plague (PESTEM) has been given (DATAM ESSE.past passive infinitive.Verb of the infinitive clause) by nature (A NATURA.Ablative of Agent) to men (HOMINIBUS (dative) than (QUAM) carnal (CORPORIS; lit."of body")pleasure (VOLUPTATEM, 2nd.term of comparison in the accusative like PESTEM), of  which (CUIUS related to VOLUPTATIS and introducing the relative clause) pleasure (VOLUPTATIS.Genitive depending on the adjective AVIDAE) the eager (AVIDAE agreed with LIBIDINES ) sensual desires (LIBIDINES.subject of the relative clause) are urged (INCITARENTUR. Imperfect subjunctive passive as a verb of the relative clause depending on the infinitive clause.See Attraction at AG 591) rashly (TEMERE, adverb) and  uncontrollably (EFFRENATE.Adverb) to  take possession [of it](AD POTIENDUM.Gerund of POTIOR)”, i.e.:
“He  said  that no  more deadly plague has been given  by nature to men  than carnal pleasure, through eagerness for which the passions are urged  rashly  and  uncontrollably to  take possession of it (i.e. the pleasure)”.


As you can see, the passage “cuius voluptatis avidae libidines ” is composed of the nominative AVIDAE(adjective) LIBIDINES (noun) and the genitive CUIUS VOLUPTATIS depending on AVIDAE (eager of/for)
Also, note that the relative CUIUS introduces the relative clause, according to the Latin use of the relative pronoun at the beginning of a sentence.



(4)In “nemini censebat fore dubium, quin nihil agitare mente....posset…”(41) the dative “nemini” depends on DUBIUM since “nemini censebat fore dubium, quin nihil agitare mente....posset...” literally means:” he (i.e.Architas) thought (CENSEBAT. verb of the main clause) that to nobody (NEMINI.Dative) it will be  (FORE.future infinitive of SUM. verb of the infinitive clause) doubtful (DUBIUM) that (QUIN) he ( i.e. someone ) could (POSSET.Subjunctive depending on QUIN)  deliberate(AGITARE) in the mind ( MENTE. Ablative of means) nothing (NIHIL) ...”, i.e.:
“He  thought that it will not be doubtful for anybody that someone ...could not deliberate anything....”.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Maria

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Maria

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