Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following (all from de senectute).
(1)“Nihil Sex. Aelius tale, nihil multis annis ante Ti. Coruncanius …” (27)
What is the literal meaning of “Nihil … tale”?
(2)“Cyrus quidem apud Xenophontem eo sermone, quem moriens habuit, cum admodum senex esset, negat…”(30)
Is “eo sermone” abl. abs., meaning “while he was giving a speech”? I thought in abl. abs. you need a verb except “esse”, which can be omitted.
(3)“carum omnes habebant” (37)
Is “carum” here an adj., meaning "held him dear [loved him]"?
(4)“Septimus mihi liber Originum est in manibus” (38)
Does this sentence have the same meaning as “Septimus librum Originum in manibus habeo”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In “Nihil Sex. Aelius tale, nihil multis annis ante Ti. Coruncanius …” (Cicero, De Senectute, 27) the literal meaning of “Nihil … tale” is the following:"Nothing ...similar".
In fact, “Nihil Sex. Aelius tale, nihil multis annis ante Ti. Coruncanius.." means:
“Nothing (NIHIL.direct object depending on the implied verb DIXIT) similar/  of such a kind (TALE.Neuter adjective agreeing with NIHIL) [said. DIXIT]  Sextus Aelius, nothing  similar (NIHIL + TALE which is implied)[said.DIXIT] many years before (MULTIS ANNIS ANTE) Ti.Coruncanius...”, i.e. :
“Neither Sex. Aelius nor Ti. Coruncanius said anything similar many years before...”.
Please note that Cato is referring to two famous jurisconsults who in their old age continued to give instruction in jurisprudence, differently from the athlete Milo of Croton who, after he was already an old man and was watching the athletes training in the race-course, looked upon his  muscles, wept and said that their muscles  are dead by then (See previous sentences in section 27).


(2)In “Cyrus quidem apud Xenophontem eo sermone, quem moriens habuit, cum admodum senex esset, negat…”(30) “eo sermone” is  a kind of  abl. of Place Where without the preposition IN or an Ablative of Instrument, not an  abl. absolute which, as you say, would need a verb except “esse”, which can be omitted.
Therefore “eo sermone” means “in that speech/discourse” related to what Cyrus said  at death’s door, when he was very old.


(3)In “carum omnes habebant” (37)  “carum” is just  a predicative adjective in the masculine accusative singular, literally meaning "all (OMNES) held (HABEBANT) him (EUM which is implied) dear (CARUM)", i.e. " All loved him".


(4)The sentence “Septimus mihi liber Originum est in manibus” (38) has just the same meaning as “Septimum (not Septimus) librum Originum in manibus habeo” (literally, "I have in my hands the seventh volume of my Antiquities..”, i.e.” I am now at work on the seventh volume of my Antiquities”.
Note that the dative MIHI with the verb EST is used to denote Possession.
See AG 373 (Dative of Possession).

All the best,

Maria  

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