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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following (all from de senectute)
(1)“… sarmentorum ea, quam dixi, aliorum amputatio, aliorum immissio.” (53)
I have already asked you about this sentence. I now understand its meaning. My new/follow-up question is this: is it possible to know from the sentence itself that “quam” refers to “amputatio” and not to “immisio”?
(2)“ne silvescat sarmentis…” (52)
How to translate “sarmentis”? Is it abl. of manner?
(3)“Nec vero segetibus solum et pratis et vineis et arbustis res rusticae laetae sunt, sed hortis etiam et pomariis, tum pecudum pastu, apium examinibus, florum omnium varietate.”(54)
Is the following understanding correct? The main clause is “res rusticae laetae sunt”. All the other abl. are abl. of cause, explaining why “res rusticae laetae sunt.”
(4)“non enim aurum habere praeclarum sibi videri dixit, sed eis qui haberent aurum imperare.”(55)
Is there an accu.+infinitive clause after “dixit”? I guess “videri” is the infinitive, but what is the accu.?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In “… sarmentorum ea, quam dixi, aliorum amputatio, aliorum immissio.” (Cicero, De Senectute, 53) the relative pronoun “quam”  in the feminine accusative singular refers to “amputatio” that Cato has just mentioned above (see 52), when he says “ferro amputans” (pruning with the knife) connected to “ars agricolarum” , i.e. "the practical skill (ARS)  of the farmers (AGRICOLARUM) that prunes (AMPUTANS, agreeing with ARS)[the vine] with the knife (FERRO).


(2)The final negative clause “ne silvescat sarmentis…” (52) translates as:” so that [grapevine] does not run wild with its branches” where “with [its] branches”(sarmentis) is an Ablative of Means , not  an abl. of manner.


(3)In “Nec vero segetibus solum et pratis et vineis et arbustis res rusticae laetae sunt, sed hortis etiam et pomariis, tum pecudum pastu, apium examinibus, florum omnium varietate.”(54)the main clause is exactly “res rusticae laetae sunt”. All the other abl. are abl. of cause, explaining why “res rusticae laetae sunt.”


(4)In “....non enim aurum habere praeclarum sibi videri dixit, sed eis qui haberent aurum imperare.”(56)  there is not an acc.+ infinitive clause after “dixit”, but only the infinitive “videri” + the neuter adjective “praeclarum”.
So, here’s the literal translation:
”In fact(ENIM) he said (DIXIT) that it seemed (VIDERI.Infinitive depending on “DIXIT) ) honorable(PRAECLARUM) to himself (SIBI)  not (NON) to have (HABERE. Infinitive depending on VIDERI) the gold (AURUM.Direct object), but to rule (IMPERARE) those(EIS. Dative depending on IMPERARE)  who (QUI) have (HABERENT, in the conjunctive.See AG 591) the gold (AURUM.Direct object)”, i.e.:
“He said that it seemed honorable to himself not to have the gold, but to rule those who have the gold”.

Please note that:

1)the personal verb ” videor”(to seem)which is usually constructed with the nominative and the infinitive, becomes impersonal when it is accompanied by  an adjective, as in “Mihi praeclarum videtur” meaning “It seems honorable to me”.

2) in “ non ... aurum habere praeclarum sibi videri dixit, sed eis qui haberent aurum imperare”  the infinitive “ videri”  + the adjective “praeclarum” depends on “dixit”, while the negative infinitive “non...habere” as well as the infinitive "imperare" depend on “videri praeclarum”.

Hope I made myself understood.

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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