Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following grammar questions:

(1)   Quo mihi fortunam, si non conceditur uti? (Gildersleeve, 343)
Question: What does “Quo” exactly mean here? Is “fortuna” the subject of conceditur?
(2)   Nemini meus adventus labori aut sumptui fuit. (Gildersleeve, 356)
Question: Are “labori” and “sumptui” adj. or nouns?
(3)   Cui spes omnis pendet ex fortuna, huic nihil potest esse certi (Gildersleeve,  385)
Questions: (a) It seems that “cui” is the subj. in the relative clause. So why “cui” instead of “qui”? (b) why “certi” instead of “certum” to match “nihil”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

(1)In  the exclamatory question  “Quo mihi fortunam, si non conceditur uti?" (Gildersleeve, 343, from Horace, Epistulae, book I, poem 5, line 12) the  word  “Quo” is used as an adverb meaning “to what point“, while “fortunam” is an Accusative of Exclamation  used just in Exclamations to express a perception/emotion.
Such an Accusative of Exclamation- whose verb is implied- is not  the subject of the present indicative “conceditur” which is the impersonal construction of CONCEDO, in the passive form, of course.

In short, the exclamatory question “Quo mihi fortunam, si non conceditur uti” literally means :“To what point (QUO)  fortune/wealth (FORTUNAM)  [implied verb: UTILIS EST =”is useful”] to me (MIHI), if (SI) it is not permitted  (NON CONCEDITUR) to use (UTI)[it]?”, i.e. “Of what use is fortune/ wealth to me, if I am not permitted to use it?”.


(2)In “Nemini meus adventus labori aut sumptui fuit” (Gildersleeve, 356 from Cicero, In Verrem, actio II,  16 ) the datives “labori” (from LABOR, 3rd.declension)  and “sumptui” (from SUMPTUS, 4th.declension)  are  nouns used in the  Double Dative construction where NEMINI is the Dative of Reference (to no one), while LABORI (as a burden) and SUMPTUI ((as an expense) are the Dative of purpose.

In short, “Nemini meus adventus labori aut sumptui fuit” means: “My arrival (MEUS ADVENTUS) was (FUIT) no trouble (LABORI)  nor expense (SUMPTUI)  to any one (NEMINI)”.


(3)In “Cui spes omnis pendet ex fortuna, huic nihil potest esse certi" (Gildersleeve,  385 from Cicero, Paradoxa stoicorum ad M. Brutum, 17) the dative “cui” is not the subj. in the relative clause, but the  indirect object literally meaning  “to whom”, i.e. “To one to whom” as in Latin the relative pronoun often incorporates the demonstrative pronoun “the one who”, so that “Cui” literally means “To one to whom” in the literal translation “To one to whom (CUI) all(OMNIS)  hope (SPES)  is suspended (PENDET) on (EX)fortune/ fate (FORTUNA), to this man (HUIC) nothing (NIHIL)  certain (CERTI) can (POTEST) be (ESSE)”, i.e. “To him who has  all his hope suspended on fortune/fate nothing can be certain”.

As for the adjective “certi” in the genitive instead of “certum” in the neuter agreed with the neuter pronoun “nihil”, please note that if the adjective that follows NIHIL  is of the First and Second Declensions just like CERTUS/CERTA/ CERTUM, and then  is declined in the Masculine and Neuter like the 2nd.declension and in the Feminine like the 1st.declension, it can have either the genitive (e.g. CERTI) or the neuter (e.g. CERTUM), whereas the adjectives of the 3rd.declension like e.g. FORTIS/FORTE must be in the neuter as in “NIHIL FORTE”(nothing strong).

Hope all is clear enough.
Best regards,
Maria

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Maria

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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