Latin/grammar

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

1. arbitrum illum adegit (II.66)
What does “adegit” mean?

2. cum in vendundo rem eam scisset et non pronuntiasset, emptori damnum praestari oportere. (II. 66)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

3. Sed tamen videmus, quibus extinctis oratoribus, quam in paucis spes, quanto in paucioribus facultas, quam in multis sit audacia (II. 67)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence? I don't fully understand its meaning.

4. licet tamen opera prodesse multis beneficia petentem, …, eos ipsos, qui aut consuluntur aut defendunt, rogantem (II. 67)
Why are all those verbs “petentem”, … “rogantem” in accu.? Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “…Calpurnius…..arbitrum illum adegit (Cicero, De Officiis, III.66, not II.66)
the perfect tense “adegit”(from “adigo”) means “he compelled”, i.e. Calpurnius…
compelled (adegit) him (illum, i.e. “Claudius”) to come before a judge (arbitrum)..”.

Note that “adigere aliquem arbitrum”, i.e. “agere aliquem ad arbitrum” means
“to compel one to come before an arbiter/judge”, i.e. “to sue”.


2.Here’s the literal translation for “….is … iudex ita pronuntiavit: cum in
vendundo rem eam scisset et non pronuntiasset, emptori damnum praestari oportere”
(III.66, not II.66):
”…he (is, i.e. Cato) as a judge (iudex, apposition) pronounced the decision
that (ita pronuntiavit), since (cum) he  [i.e.Claudius] in selling
(in vendundo) knew (scisset) this (eam) thing/ fact (rem) but did not tell
it (et non pronuntiasset),it was necessary(oportere)that the damage (damnum)
was  indemnified  (praestari) to the buyer (emptori)”.

In short, Cato as a judge said  that when someone sells something faulty and
knows such a defect  the buyer  must be indemnified, just like Calpurmius who
had acquired a house  but was not  told of some  defects which are known to
the seller (i.e. Claudius).

See the story in “Good Faith in European Contract Law”, pages 67-68,  at:
https://books.google.it/books?id=B4AvUL3Xq7EC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=cum+in+vendundo+rem+eam+scisset+et+non+pronuntiasset,+emptori+damnum+praestari+oportere%E2%80%9D+%28III.66&source=bl&ots=WvI_27SsDd&sig=TtS8GHruewNeXw5PvJiNLC2IKew&hl=it&sa=X&ei=PmeMVNqyKMyUarblgbAD&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=cum%20in%20vendundo%20rem%20eam%20scisset%20et%20non%20pronuntiasset%2C%20emptori%20damnum%20praestari%20oportere%E2%80%9D%20(III.66&f=false




3. “Sed tamen videmus, quibus extinctis oratoribus, quam in paucis spes, quanto
in paucioribus facultas, quam in multis sit audacia" (II. 67)literally means:
”But however (sed tamen) we see /it is clear that (videmus), since those [great]
(quibus, ablative absolute) orators (oratoribus, abl abs) are dead (extinctis,
abl abs),  how much (quam)  hope (spes) is (est) in few  (in paucis), by how
much(quanto, ablative used as an adverb)[there is] ability(facultas) in far fewer (paucioribus),how much(quam) presumption
(audacia) is (est) in many persons (in multis)”, i.e.:
“It is clear that, after great orators are dead, few people offer a glimmer of
hope, far fewer have ability, in many there is arrogance, indeed”.

So, the sentence points out that  after the death of the past generation of
great orators, there are few persons that have ability and therefore could
become good  orators, while most people have nothing but presumption.


4. In “…..licet tamen opera prodesse multis beneficia petentem, commendantem
iudicibus, magistratibus, vigilantem pro re alterius, eos ipsos, qui aut
consuluntur aut defendunt, rogantem..”(II.67),
the present participles “petentem”, commendantem, vigilantem, “rogantem” in
the accusative  singular are the subjects of the infinitive “prodesse”
depending on the impersonal verb “licet”.

Here’s the literal translation of this sentence:

”…it is however possible (licet tamen ) that somebody (aliquem, understood)
is useful (prodesse) to many  (multis) with [his] support (opera, abl of means)
[by] asking (petentem) benefits (beneficia), [by] recommending [them]
to the judges (iudicibus),to the magistrates (magistratibus), by looking
out(vigilantem) for (pro) the interests (re) of one and another (alterius),
by begging (rogantem) just those (eos ipsos) who (qui) are consulted for
adviceas they are skilled in the law (consuluntur)or (aut) defend
against an accusation (defendunt)..”

In short, though not all can be eloquent as lawyers, it is possible however to
help some of them so that they can have  the aid of jurists or  advocates and
can become orators.


Best regards,

Maria  

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