Latin/grammar

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following (all from De Amicitia):
1. “Hunc etiam post mortem secuti amici et propinqui quid in P. Scipione effecerint, sine lacrimis non queo dicere” (41)
Is the following order for translation correct: “sine lacrimis non queo dicere quid in [in the case of] P. Scipione amici et propinqui secuti hunc etiam post mortem effecerint”? Some questions: Does “secuti hunc” mean “having followed him”? who is “hunc” and whose death “mortem” refers to? I assume “amici et propinqui” refer to Scipio’s friends and relatives. [I did ask your help with this sentence before, but the meaning of this sentence is still not clear to me.]

2. “Plures enim discent quem ad modum haec fiant, quam quem ad modum iis resistatur” (41)
Does “haec fiant” mean “(quem ad modum) [how] these things happen? Why passive “resistatur”? I thought resist + dat. (iis).

3. “si in eius modi amicitias ignari casu aliquo inciderint” (42)
Is “casu aliquo” abl. of means? What is the case of “ignari”? Does it modify “casu”?

4. “qui cum imperator bello Persico servitute Graeciam liberavisset” (42)
Is "esset" understood after "imperator", meaning when he was commander during the war with Persia?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the correct order for translation of “Hunc etiam post mortem secuti amici et propinqui quid in P. Scipione effecerint, sine lacrimis non queo dicere” (Cicero, De amicitia, 41):
“Non queo dicere sine lacrimis quid amici et propinqui secuti hunc etiam post mortem effecerint in [in the case of] P. Scipione”.
As for your questions, “secuti hunc” means “having followed him”, i.e. “having followed Ti. Gracchus,  as  “hunc”  refers exactly to Ti. Gracchus  whom his friends and relatives followed even after his death.
Therefore it is clear that the two subjects of the Indirect Question “amici et propinqui” refer to Ti. Gracchus  friends and relatives.

In short, Laelius says that  he cannot describe without tears what Tiberius  Gracchus  friends and relatives, who followed this politician even after his death, did in the case of Publius Scipio.



2.In “Plures enim discent quem ad modum haec fiant, quam quem ad modum iis resistatur” (41)the Indirect Question “quem ad modum haec fiant” depending on "discent"  means exactly “how these things happen”.

As for the passive “resistatur”, this  present subjunctive in the 3rd person singular is used as an impersonal form since the passive of intransitive verbs is very often used impersonally (See AG 208 d). Hence e.g. “resistitur” (literally, “it is resisted”), “pugnatur” (it is fought), etc.

In short, “Plures enim discent quem ad modum haec fiant, quam quem ad modum iis resistatur” literally means:
”More people )PLURES) in fact (ENIM) will learn (DISCENT) how  (QUEM AD MODUM) these things (HAEC) happen (FIANT) than (QUAM) [those who will learn]  how (QUEM AD MODUM) it is resisted (RESISTATUR) to these things (HIS).
Please note that, when Laelius says “these things”, he refers to   the  risk of public disorder caused by the  caprice of the mob and thinks that more people will learn how such disorder can be caused than those who will learn  how they can resist to it.



3.In “si in eius modi amicitias ignari casu aliquo inciderint” (42) the indirect object  “casu aliquo” is an abl. of cause  meaning “by any chance”.
As for  the case of “ignari”, it is a predicate adjective in the nominative, masculine plural, which refers to “bonis” in the previous phrase “Praecipiendum est igitur bonis, ut, si ..” meaning :

“So (IGITUR) it must be suggested  (PRAECIPIENDUM EST) to good men (BONIS) that (UT), if (SI) by any (ALIQUO) chance (CASU) they [being] unaware (IGNARI) should  fall (INCIDERINT) into (IN) friendships (AMICITIAS) of such (EIUS) kind (MODI) ...”, i.e. :
"So, we must suggested to good men that, if  by any chance they should inadvertently fall into friendships  of such kind.."



4.In  “qui cum imperator bello Persico servitute Graeciam liberavisset” (42)  "esset" is not  understood after "imperator", because “imperator” is used as an apposition  meaning “when /as a commander-in-chief”.
So,the sentence means:”(Themistocles) who, after he -as a commander in chief- had saved Greece from slavery during the war with Persia...”.

Kind 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.