Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you help me with the following (all from de Officiis)

1. Itaque facillime corriguntur in discendo, quorum vitia imitantur emendandi causa magistri. (146)
Does “discendo” mean “students”?

2. Maior enim pars eo fere deferri solet, quo a natura ipsa deducitur. (147)
Does “ipsa” refer to “maior pars” (f. sing.)?

3. iique et secum et ab aliis, quid in eo peccatum sit, exquirunt, (147)
Is it also correct to say: “iique et ab eis et aliis, …”? If it is, is there any difference in terms of meaning?

4.Illiberales autem et sordidi quaestus mercennariorum omnium, quorum operae, non quorum artes emuntur;(150)
Why “operae” and “artes” not in abl. after “emuntur”?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Itaque facillime corriguntur in discendo, quorum vitia imitantur emendandi causa magistri” (Cicero, De Officiis, I, 146) the gerund ablative “in discendo” literally means:”in learning”, so that “Itaque facillime corriguntur in discendo, quorum vitia imitantur emendandi causa magistri” literally translates as:
”Therefore (itaque) most easily (facillime) are corrected (corriguntur) in learning [those, as an implied subject] whose (quorum) faults (vitia) the masters (magistri) imitate (imitantur) for the sake (causā) of correcting (emendandi, gerund genitive) [them]”.


2.In “Maior enim pars eo fere deferri solet, quo a natura ipsa deducitur” (I, 147) the ablative feminine “ipsā” refers  to the ablative “naturā” so that the sentence literally means:
”Most people (maior pars, nominative singular) in fact (enim) commonly (fere) use (solet) to be carried (deferri) there (eo, adverb of place to which) where (quo, adverb of place to which) they are carried (deducitur, agreeing with "maior pars")  by (a) their own(ipsā)  nature /natural inclinations (naturā )”, just in the sense that most people follow their own natural inclinations.



3.In “… iique et secum et ab aliis, quid in eo peccatum sit, exquirunt,…” (I, 147) it  is not  correct to say: “iique et ab eis et ab aliis” because “ab eis et ab aliis” would mean “from (ab) those (eis, demonstrative pronoun)  and from (ab) others (aliis)”.
In short,“eis” is not a reflexive pronoun related  to the subject “iique”, whereas “secum”, composed of “cum” and the reflexive ablative “se”, is exactly a reflexive pronoun related to the subject of “exquirunt”.
Therefore you cannot use “ ab eis ...”, because you would modify the sense of the sentence that means: “..and they expect / they try to discover (exquirunt) both (et) from/by (-cum) themselves (se-) and (et) from  others (ab aliis) what is wrong (quid peccatum sit) .. …”.


4.In “Illiberales autem et sordidi quaestus mercenariorum omnium, quorum operae, non quorum artes emuntur..”(I, 150) the nominative case “operae” and “artes”  are the subject of the verb  “emuntur”, so that the sentence literally means:”Ignoble (illiberales) and squalid (sordidi) [are ]the profits (quaestus)of all (omnium) hired workmen (mercenariorum) whose (quorum) manual labour (operae), not artistic skills  (non quorum artes) are purchased (emuntur)”


Best regards,

Maria

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