Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following (all from de senectute)
(1)“quasi iam divinarem, id quod evenit, …”(12)
Why present tense “evenit”? It seems to me it refers to something already past.
(2)“cuius a morte tertius hic et tricesimus annus est”(19)
What does “hic” mean?
(3)“Quamquam in aliis minus hoc mirum est;”(24)
What is the literal meaning of “aliis”? I couldn’t figure how how Falconer got his meaning.
(4)“illud idem” (25)
What is the literal meaning of the the above? Falconer translates as “in the following lines”, which seems to me to be very different from the literal meaning unless I am missing some unusual meaning of the two words.
Thank you.

Dear Robert,

(1)In “quasi iam divinarem, id quod evenit…”(Cicero, De Senectute, 12) the verb “evenit” is not  a present tense, but a perfect tense  of the verb “evenio” whose present and perfect are identical, apart from the fact that in the present the second vowel is  a short  ĕ, while in the perfect it is a long ē.[See “evĕnit” and “evēnit”].
In Latin, of course, it is the sequence of tenses that helps somebody know if "evenit" is a present or a perfect.

Please note that in one of my previous answer I provided you with the literal translation of “quasi iam divinarem, id quod evenit”, where “evenit” is translated as “happened” [See:" .. as if (QUASI) I already (IAM) foresaw (DIVINAREM) what (ID QUOD) happened (EVENIT)...”.

(2)In “cuius a morte tertius hic et tricesimus annus est”(19) the masculine nominative pronoun “hic”, which agrees with “annus”,  means “this” , i.e lterally: “from (A)  whose (CUIUS) death (MORTE) this (HIC) is (EST) the third (TERTIUS) and (ET) thirtieth (TRICESIMUS) year (ANNUS)..” just to say that thirty-three years have passed since that hero's death.

(3)In “Quamquam in aliis minus hoc mirum est...”(24) the literal meaning of “ aliis” is “other men”.
In fact, the literal translation of “Quamquam in aliis minus hoc mirum est” is the following:” Although(QUAMQUAM) in other men (IN ALIIS) this (HOC) is (EST) less(MINUS) extraordinary/remarkable...”.
Note that Cato is talking about old men that continue to devote themselves to agricultural work, though they know that they are labouring at things which will not profit them at all as they are about to die.
But, if  other men behaved this way, their  behaviour would seem less  remarkable, for nobody is so old as to think that he cannot live one more year.

(4)“illud idem” (25) literally means :”that (ILLUD) same (IDEM) [ thing, i.e concept]”.
In fact, Cato says:”  et melius Caecilius de sene alteri saeculo prospiciente, quam illud idem: edepol, senectus, si nil quicquam aliud viti.....” , meaning: “And the same Caecilius Statius [in writing] of (DE) the old man (SENE) providing (PROSPICIENTE) for a another/ future (ALTERI) generation(SAECULO) [ spoke] better (MELIUS) than (QUAM) [when he write] just these lines /the following lines (ILLUD IDEM).:....”.

Please note that Falconer  translates ILLUD IDEM as “ the following lines” simply because there is no other way to express the sense of “illud idem”, since Latin is a very concise language differently from English or other languages that often need more words to explain a concept.

Hope this can help you.

Best regards,


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