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

1. quantam eius vim inter leges et iudicia et in constituta re publica fore putamus? (II. 40)
Why do we need the “et” after “iudicia”? The “et” before it connects “leges” and “iudicia”.

2. at eius filii nec vivi probabantur bonis et mortui numerum optinent iure caesorum (II. 43)
Could you give a literal translation? I have problem with “vivi” and “mortui”

3. quibuscum si frequentes sunt, opinionem adferunt populo eorum fore se similes (II. 46)
Is “eorum fore se similes” a clause, modifying “opinionem”? I thought only a relative clause introduced by a relative pronoun can modify a noun.

4. qua aetate qui exercentur, laude adfici solent, ut de Demosthene accepimus, ea aetate L. Crassus ostendit, id se in foro optume iam facere, quod etiam tum poterat domi cum laude meditari. (II. 47)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “…. quantam eius vim inter leges et iudicia et in constituta re publica fore putamus?” (Cicero, De Officiis, II. 40) the “et” repeated  after “leges” as well as after “iudicia” serves to connect two ideas partitively in the sense of  “as well ... as”.

In fact, “…quantam eius vim inter leges et iudicia et in constituta re publica fore putamus?” means: ”.. how great do we think its power will be in  laws and courts as well as in a well-organized state ?”, where the word "power"(vim) refers to the force of justice(vis iustitiae ) which has been mentioned in the previous sentence.


2. Here’s the literal translation of “…at eius filii nec vivi probabantur bonis et mortui numerum optinent iure caesorum” (II. 43):
”but (at) his sons (eius filii, i.e. the sons of Ti.Gracchus) were not approved (nec…probabantur) by men of honor (bonis, ablative of Agent, without “ab”) while they were alive (vivi, predicate related to “filii”, literally meaning “being alive”), and while they are dead (mortui, predicate related to “filii”, literally meaning  “being dead”) they are numbered (numerum optinent) among those who has been killed (caesorum, past participle of caedo, gentive plural depending on "numerum") justly (iure, abl. used as an adverb)”.

Note that the verb “obtinere” followed by the acc. “numerum” + a genitive  means:”to be numbered among…”.



3.In “… quibuscum si frequentes sunt, opinionem adferunt populo eorum fore se similes..” (II. 46) the object-clause  “eorum fore se similes” depends on  “opinionem” as the sentence literally means: ”…they convey (adferunt) to the people (populo)  the impression ( opinionem) that they will be (se fore) similar (similes, constructed with gen.) to them (eorum)”.

Note that "eorum" refers to the previous expression "claros et sapientes viros ..", i.e. "men who are at once wise and renowned..".


4. Here’s the literal translation for “…qua aetate qui exercentur, laude adfici solent, ut de Demosthene accepimus, ea aetate L. Crassus ostendit, id se in foro optume iam facere, quod etiam tum poterat domi cum laude meditari” (II. 47):
“..at that age at wich (qua aetate) those who (qui) exercise (exercentur) [oratory] use  (solent) to be praised (laude affici, literally ”to be affected with praise”), like (ut)  we knew (accepimus) about Demosthenes (de Demosthene), at that age (ea aetate) L.Crassus showed (ostendit) that he (se) was already  best acting (optume iam  facere) in the law-court (in foro) what (quod) he could (poterat) still  practise (etiam tum…meditari) with praise (cum laude) at home (domi, locative genitive)”.

Best regards,

Maria

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