Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following (all from de senectute)
(1)“Cupidis enim rerum talium odiosum fortasse et molestum est carere, satiatis vero et expletis iucundius est carere quam frui”.(47)

Is the following understanding of the three datives “cupidis”, “satiatis” and “expletis” correct? They come from “cupidus” (adj.), “satias”(noun) and “expletus” (adj.). They are all put in the dative form and refer to “to those who …”. My question is why not “satiatibus” so that all three are dative plural? Seems “satiatis” is not dative singular either. Can you always put an adj. in the dative and mean “to those/him who …”? Also, if you want to say “to him who…” do you just use the dative singular of the adj.?
(2)“M. vero Cethegum, …, quanto studio exerceri in dicendo videbamus etiam senem!”(50)
Is this an acc.+infinitive clause after “videbamus”, with Cethegum being the subj. and exerceri the infinitive? And “senem” is an appositive of “Cethegum”?
(3)“minore, … maiore” (51)
Is my understanding of these two words correct: “minor” is adj., meaning “smaller”. What are the forms for m. f. and n.? “Minor” can also be neuter noun: minor, minoris, meaning “less”. The same for “maior”.
(4)“deinde tepefactum vapore et compressu suo diffundit” (51)
Does “suo” modifies both “vapore” and “compressu”? If we say “vapore suo et compressu”, does “suo” also modifies both? What if we only want “suo” to modify one of the abl, what should we do?
Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In “Cupidis enim rerum talium odiosum fortasse et molestum est carere, satiatis vero et expletis iucundius est carere quam frui”.(Cicero, De Senectute, 47) the three datives “cupidis”, “satiatis” and “expletis”  come from “cupidus” (adj.), “satiatus” (past participle of the verb SATIO) and “expletus” (past participle of the verb EXPLEO).
They are all put in the dative form and refer to “to those who …”.
Please note that the noun “satias” does not exist at all and thus cannot exist  the dative plural  “satiatibus” . So,  “satiatis” is the dative plural of the past participle “satiatus”  whose declension follows the 2nd.declension for the masculine and the neuter, the 1st.declension for the feminine (Adjectives of the First and Second Declensions).
Finally , in Latin you can put an adj. in the dative to mean “to those/him who …” (See “cupĭdis” meaning “For to those who are eager ...”) Also, if you want to say “to him who…”,  you can use the dative singular of the adj. as in e.g. “cupĭdo” meaning “to him who is eager ..”, though the dative plural such as “cupĭdis” is more common.
To conclude, both the past participles  “satiatis” and “expletis” are used as adjectives here.

(2)In “M. vero Cethegum, …, quanto studio exerceri in dicendo videbamus etiam senem!”(50) there is just  an acc.+infinitive clause after “videbamus”, with Cethegum being the subj. and exerceri the infinitive, while  “senem” is an appositive of “Cethegum”.

(3)In “sed alias minore,plerumque maiore cum faenore” (51) “minor” is a comparative  adj., meaning “smaller”. It is the comparative of the adjective “parvus” and its  forms for m. f. and n. are MINOR ( masculine and feminine nominative) and MINUS ( nominative neuter) .
Actually “minor” cannot be neuter noun: it is always used as a comparative adjective.
The same happens for “maior” (masculine/feminine) and “maius”(neuter) that are the comparatives of MAGNUS.

(4)In “deinde tepefactum vapore et compressu suo diffundit” (51) the possessive ablative “suo” modifies both “vapore” and “compressu”.
If you say “vapore suo et compressu”,  “suo” also modifies both.
But, if you  only want “suo” to modify one of the abl, you should  do  grammatically the same and it would be the context that could explain if”suo” refers to only one term.

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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