Latin/grammar

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

1. Omnes enim immemorem beneficii oderunt … (II. 63)
Is “immemorem” used here as a noun instead of an adj.? It seems common that an adj. is used as a noun.

2. quod quidem volgo solitum fieri ab ordine nostro in oratione Crassi scriptum copiose videmus (II.63)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

3. illa quasi assentatorum populi multitudinis levitatem voluptate quasi titillantium.(II. 63)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence? I expect this clause to be “[est]+ gen” structure, but I have difficulty in identifying the gen.

4. Conveniet autem cum in dando munificum esse, tum in exigendo non acerbum in omnique re contrahenda, vendundo emendo, conducendo locando, vicinitatibus et confiniis, aequum, facilem, multa multis de suo iure cedentem. (II. 64)
(a)Does “vicinitatibus et confiniis” go with “in omini”? In other words, can it be placed after “omini”?
(b)Can “multa” be adv., meaning “often”? Dictionary only says “multum” can be used as adv (often).

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Omnes enim immemorem beneficii oderunt …” (Cicero, De Officiis, II. 63),  meaning “All men, in fact, detest an ungrateful person..”,the accusative “immemorem” is  used  as a noun instead of an adjective as  it is common that an adj. is sometimes  used as a noun,i.e. "an ungrateful person" in this context.



2.Here’s the literal translation of “… quod quidem volgo solitum fieri ab ordine nostro in oratione Crassi scriptum copiose videmus..” (II.63): “…which thing (quod. The neuter relative pronoun connects “…videmus”  with  the previous sentence “Atque haec benignitas…” meaning “And such a beneficence…”) generally (volgo/vulgo, adverb) used (solitum, attributive participle agreeing with “quod”) to be done (fieri) indeed (quidem) by our order (ab ordine nostro) we see (videmus) copiously (copiose) written (scriptum, agreeing with “quod”) in a Crassus oration (in oratione Crassi)”, i.e.:”…... We see that such a charity/beneficence….. which has been generally used by our [senatorial]order is also copiously  mentioned  in  one of Crassus's orations”.
Please note that any literal translation sounds quite strange in English just because no language can adequately be expressed in another.


3. “…haec est gravium hominum…. , ….illa quasi assentatorum populi multitudinis levitatem voluptate quasi titillantium” (II. 63) literally means:” …this form/ the former (haec, nom fem related to  “benignitatis” in the previous sentence) [of charity] belongs/is the  part  (est) of  serious men (gravium hominum, genitive depending on “est”.See AG 343 c) …, that /the latter  (illa) is the part [est,which is understood] of a kind (quasi) of flatterers (assentatorum) who nearly titillate/stimulate (quasi titillantium, attributive participle related to the genitive “assentatorum”) with pleasure  (voluptate, ablative of instrument) the basest instinct (levitatem) of the multitude (multitudinis) of the people (populi)”, i.e.:
“…this form of charity belongs to serious men …, while the other one belongs to  a kind  of flatterers  who nearly stimulate with pleasure as a bait  the basest instincts of the crowd”.

In short, Cicero is comparing the lavish expenditure of money for public exhibitions with that form of charity that ransoms prisoners from servitude and relieves the poor.



4. Note that in “Conveniet autem cum in dando munificum esse, tum in exigendo non acerbum in omnique re contrahenda, vendundo emendo, conducendo locando, vicinitatibus et confiniis, aequum, facilem, multa multis de suo iure cedentem…..” (II. 64):

(a)“vicinitatibus et confiniis” cannot be placed after “omni”, i.e. “in omnique re contrahenda” (literally, “..and in every thing which must be done/accomplished”, gerundive), simply because “vendundo emendo, conducendo locando, vicinitatibus et confiniis” are ablatives that explain the things/business which can be done.

(b)“multa” is not an adv., meaning “often”, but a direct object depending on “cedentem”.

In short, “Conveniet autem cum in dando munificum esse, tum in exigendo non acerbum in omnique re contrahenda, vendundo emendo, conducendo locando, vicinitatibus et confiniis, aequum, facilem, multa multis de suo iure cedentem…..” literally means:
”So, (autem) it will be fit (conveniet)  to be (esse) liberal (munificum, accusative masculine singular, predicate of the infinitive “esse”. Such accusative masculine singular refers to the implied form “aliquem”) not only (cum, correlative with “tum”) in giving (in dando, gerund), but also (tum, as correlative with the preceding “cum”) [it will be fit (conveniet)  to be (esse) ] not severe (non acerbum) in exacting (in exigendo, gerund) [his due]and in every thing/business  which must be done/accomplished (in omnique re contrahenda, gerundive) [that is to say] in  selling (vendundo, gerund abl.) [and] buying (emendo, gerund abl.), in hiring (conducendo, gerund abl.) [and] letting (locando, gerund abl.) , in relations of  neighbours (vicinitatibus)  and common boundaries ( et confiniis) [it will be fit (conveniet)  to be (esse) ] fair (aequum), affable(facilem), yielding (cedentem, attributive participle) many things (multa, neuter plural, accusative) of his own right (de suo iure) to many persons (multis, dative depending on “cedentem”)…”, i.e.:
” So, it will be fit  to a man  not only  to be  liberal in giving , but also not severe in exacting his due and in every business  which must be accomplished , that is to say in  selling  and buying, in hiring  or letting , in relations of  neighbours   and common boundaries  it will be fit  to be fair , affable, yielding  much of his own right to many persons…”.


Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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