Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. Posse enim liberalitate uti non spoliantem se patrimonio nimirum est pecuniae fructus maximus (II.64)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

2. qui honeste posse multum volunt, per hospites apud externos populos valere opibus et gratia. (II. 64)
Is “opibus et gratia” abl. of means, explaining “valere”?

3. Itaque cum multa praeclara maiorum, tum quod optime constituti iuris civilis summo semper in honore fuit cognitio atque interpretatio (II. 65)
What is the meaning of “cum … tum”? Seems it is not “both … and …”.

4. Diserti igitur hominis et facile laborantis, quodque in patriis est moribus, multorum causas et non gravate et gratuito defendentis beneficia et patrocinia late patent (II. 66)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.The sentence “Posse enim liberalitate uti non spoliantem se patrimonio nimirum est pecuniae fructus maximus..” (Cicero, De Officiis, II.64)literally means:”For (enim) the greatest (maximus) enjoyment(fructus) of wealth/money (pecuniae)is (est) certainly (nimirum, adverb) to be able (posse) to use (uti) liberality( liberalitate, ablative depending on the verb “utor”)without depriving(non spoliantem, present participle which refers to the implied form “aliquem” as the subject of the infinitive "posse")  himself (se)  of [his own]  fortune (patrimonio, abl.of privation)”.


2. In “…..qui honeste posse multum volunt, per hospites apud externos populos valere opibus et gratia” (II. 64) the two ablatives “opibus et gratia” are abl. of specification rather than abl.of means, explaining “valere”(to be powerful/to have power).
So, “Est …. vehementer utile iis, qui honeste posse multum volunt, per hospites apud externos populos valere opibus et gratia” literally means:”It is very useful (est…vehementer utile) for those (iis) who (qui) want (volunt)   to obtain honestly a great power (honeste posse multum) to be powerful  (valere) through the guests (per hospites) among foreign  peoples (apud externos populos) thanks to [their] influence( opibus)  and friendship (et gratia, abl of specification .See AG 418)


3. In “Itaque cum multa praeclara maiorum, tum quod optime constituti iuris civilis summo semper in honore fuit cognitio atque interpretatio..” (II. 65)the meaning of the correlatives   “cum … tum” is here “not only…but also”, i.e.: “So (itaque) not only (cum) [there are] many (multa) admirable things/ customs (praeclara) of [our] ancestors(maiorum), but also (tum) the fact that (quod)  the study (cognitio) and interpretation (interpretatio) of [our] excellently (optime) established (constituti)civil law (iuris civilis)  were (fuit, in the singular as” cognitio atque interpretatio” are considered as only one concept)  always in high respect (summo semper in honore)..”


4. Here’ the literal translation of “Diserti igitur hominis et facile laborantis, quodque in patriis est moribus, multorum causas et non gravate et gratuito defendentis beneficia et patrocinia late patent” (II. 66):
”So (igitur), favours ( beneficia, subject) and patronages (patrocinia, another subject) of the eloquent (diserti) and  easily (facile) labouring (laborantis, attributive participle) man (hominis)who  defends (defendentis, attributive participle ) the cases (causas) of many clients (multorum)either (et) not unwillingly (non gravate, adverb) or (et) gratuitously (gratuito , adverb), which thing (quodque)is (est) in our native/ancestral (in patriis)  customs (moribus),are widely evident/manifest (late, adverb+ patent, the predicate related to the two subjects “beneficia et patrocinia”)”, i.e.:
“An orator who toils away without complaining and, according to ancestral customs, undertakes the defence of many clients without reluctance and without compensation has many opportunities of helping and defending”.

Best regards,

Maria

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.