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

1.ut sit libera et non sollicita suae rei cuiusque custodia (II. 78)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

2. et maxime in pecuniis creditis occultat suum gaudium, ne videatur non fuisse solvendo (II. 79)
(a)Is “in pecuniis creditis” abl. abs.? what is the literal meaning?
(b)Why abl. gerund “solvendo”?

3. iudicavit neque illis adimi nec iis non satis fieri, quorum illa fuerant, oportere. (II. 81)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

4. quod tanti esset (II. 82)
Could you give a literal translation? I guess “tanti” is partitive gen.

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.”…..ut sit libera et non sollicita suae rei cuiusque custodia…” (Cicero, De Officiis, II. 78) literally means:”…..so that (ut) the control (custodia, subject) of every man (cuiusque) his own (suae, genitive feminine agreed with “rei”) thing/ property (rei) is (sit) free (libera) and (et) not disturbed (non sollicita)”.
Note that this sentence means that the state and the city must guarantee to every man the free and undisturbed control of his own property.

As for the distributive pronoun “quisque”, I have to point out that it is  often in connection with the possessive “ suus”, so that e.g.” suum cuique” means “to every man his own”.
See AG 313.


2.In “….. et maxime in pecuniis creditis occultat suum gaudium, ne videatur non fuisse solvendo” (II. 79) the indirect object “in pecuniis creditis” is not an abl. abs., which  could not have the preposition “in”, but simply a kind of  ablative of place where, literally  meaning  “in the cancelled/forgiven (creditis, attributive past participle of “credo”) debts (pecuniis)”.
As for the  abl. gerund “solvendo”, please note that the idiomatic expression  “solvendo esse” means “to be solvent”/ “to be able to pay its debts”, since “solvendo” implies the dative “aeri alieno” (literally, “another’s copper coin”, as “aes” means “copper coin” and “alienum” means “another’s”).
Therefore “solvendo aeri alieno esse” literally would mean “to be able (esse) to pay a debt (aeri alieno solvendo, gerundive in the dative)”.

To sum up, “…et maxime in pecuniis creditis occultat suum gaudium, ne videatur non fuisse solvendo” literally means:”…. and most of all (et maxime) in [his] cancelled (creditis)  debts (pecuniis)  he [i.e. the debtor] hides (occultat)  his joy (suum gaudium) , so that he does not seem (ne videatur) to have been (fuisse)  not (non) solvent (solvendo)”, i.e.:
”…. and most of all in [his] cancelled   debts   the debtor  hides his joy, so that he does not seem to have been unsolvent ”



3. Here’s the literal translation of “…..iudicavit neque illis adimi nec iis non satis fieri, quorum illa fuerant, oportere” (II. 81):
”…he decided (iudicavit)  that it was not reasonable (neque….oportere) that the property [“bona”, which is understood] was taken away (adimi, present infinitive, passive voice) from those (illis,i.e. the present owners, in the dative plural depending on “adimi”) nor (nec) it was done (fieri) not enough (non satis) for these (iis) whose (quorum) those  things (illa) had been (fuerant)”, i.e.:”
”….. he decided that it would have been proper not to  take the property away from the present owners and  to give a right compensation/indemnity to its former possessors.”.



4.”…… quod tanti esset “(II. 82) literally means:”…what (quod, relative pronoun, neuter) was (esset) worth/of so great value (tanti, a genitive of value, not a partitive genitive)”.

In short, “….ut commodius putarent numerari sibi, quod tanti esset, quam suum recuperare” literally means:
”....so that (ut) they believed (putarent) more convenient(commodius, comparative neuter )  that it was paid (numerari) to themselves (sibi) what was(esset) of so great value (tanti) rather than (quam) to recover (recuperare)their own possession(suum)”, i.e.:
“…so that they believed that it was more convenient to themselves to take a fair price in cash for their lost estates than to try to recover  their own possession ”.


Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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

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