Latin/grammar

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

(1)Si vero habet aliquod tamquam pabulum studi atque doctrinae, …(49)
What is the subject in this clause?

(2)“… cum esset acta iam aetate in agris eosque coleret; (60)
Could you give a literal translation of this clause?

(3)“… ex quo fit, ut animosior etiam senectus sit quam adulescentia et fortior.” (72)
What is the meaning of “ut” here?

(4)"Nemo me lacrumis decoret neque funera fletu faxit." (72)
  Why is “decoret” present subjunctive whereas “faxit” (= fecerit) is perf. Subjunctive?
Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In “Si vero habet aliquod tamquam pabulum studi atque doctrinae....."(Cicero, De Senectute, 49) the subject  is  the implied term ANIMUS (soul) related to the previous passage where the accusative ANIMUM is the subject of the infinitive clause “At illa quanti sunt, animum tamquam emeritis stipendiis libidinis, ambitionis, contentionum, inimicitiarum,cupiditatum omnium secum esse secumque, ut dicitur,vivere!” literally meaning: ”But(AT) how much (QUANTI,genitive of price or value) are  worth (SUNT) those things (ILLA), [that is to say] the fact that the soul (ANIMUM, subject of the infinitive clause), after having finished its campaigns (EMERITIS STIPENDIIS .Ablative absolute) , so to speak/just as (TAMQUAM), of lust (LIBIDINIS) and ambition (AMBITIONIS), of strife (CONTENTIONUM)  and enmity (INIMICITIARUM) and of all (OMNIUM) the passions (CUPIDITATUM), is (ESSE)  within itself (SECUM) , and, it is said (UT DICITUR), lives (VIVERE) apart (SECUMQUE)!”.

So, “Si vero habet aliquod tamquam pabulum studi atque doctrinae” means:"If  indeed (SI VERO) it [i.e. the soul] has (HABET) some (ALIQUOD) nourishment (PABULUM)  of study (STUDI)  and learning (DOCTRINAE) ...”, i.e. “If indeed the soul has some nourishment that comes from study and learning...”.

(2) Here’s the literal translation of “… cum esset acta iam aetate in agris eosque coleret..” (60): “When (CUM) he [i.e. M.Valerius Corvinus], already (IAM) well on in years (ACTA AETATE.Ablative absolute), was  living (ESSET)  on his fields (IN AGRIS) and (-QUE) was cultivating (COLERET) them (EOS) ...”, i.e. “when he, already well on in years, lived on his farm and cultivated it..”

(3)In “… ex quo fit, ut animosior etiam senectus sit quam adulescentia et fortior.” (72) the meaning of the  conjunction “ut”,  depending on FIT and  introducing a kind of  clause of Result, is “that” .
Here’s a literal translation of the above mentioned sentence:”..whence(EX QUO) it happens (FIT) that (UT) old age (SENECTUS) is  (SIT) more spirited (ANIMOSIOR) and more courageous (FORTIOR) than (QUAM) youth (ADULESCENTIA.2nd.term of comparison)...”


(4)In Ennius line "Nemo me lacrumis decoret neque funera fletu faxit." (72) both  “decoret” and “faxit” are  in the  present subjunctive as they both are hortatory subjunctives just used  to express an exhortation.
In fact, FAXIT stands for FACIAT here, as it is an archaic form of the present subjunctive that we find in Ennius who lived from 239 BC to 169 BC.
Only later we find FAXIT for FECERIT as a perf subj.

Here’s the literal translation of  "Nemo me lacrumis decoret neque funera fletu faxit.":  “nobody  (NEMO) may  honor (DECORET)  me (ME) with tears (ablative of instrument, i.e. shedding tears) nor (NEQUE) may  celebrate (FAXIT/FECERIT) my funeral (FUNERA)with  crying ( FLETU.Ablative of instrument)”, i.e. “May nobody honor me with tears nor celebrate my funeral with crying”.

Hope all is clear enough.

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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