Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following (all from De Amicitia).

1. “mihi accidit, si quid accidit” (10)
Why not “si cui” to match “mihi”?

2. “… ut iam cum utroque vestrum loquar…” (10)
What is the meaning of “ut” here?

3. “Senectus enim quamvis non sit gravis, ut memini Catonem anno ante quam est mortuus mecum et cum Scipione disserere, tamen aufert eam viriditatem in qua etiam nunc erat Scipio.” (11)
Can you give a literal translation of this sentence? I am a bit confused about Cato and Scipio, who did/was what.

4. “… optimoque et iustissimo cuique expeditissimum.” (13)
Is the following understanding of mine correct? I have added the words that I think are understood: “optimoque et iustissimo [animo] cuique [reditum in caelum] expeditissimum [esse].” The antecedent of “cuique” is optimoque et iustissimo [animo].

Thank you.

Dear Robert,

1.In “mihi accidit, si quid accidit” (Cicero, De amicitia, 10) meaning :” It has happened to me, if something has happened” there is no reason why Cicero should have written “si cui” to match “mihi” instead of “si quid”.

In fact, MIHI (dative depending on “accidit”) means “to me”; ACCIDIT (indicative perfect of ACCIDO)  means “it has happened”; SI means “if”; QUID (nominative neuter) means “something”; ACCIDIT (perfect of ACCIDO) means “has happened”.
Please note that  “mihi accidit, si quid accidit” follows the sentence “nihil mali accidisse Scipioni puto” meaning:”I believe that nothing bad has happened to Scipio”, so that the whole context means:
”I believe that nothing bad has happened to Scipio; if something bad has happened, it has happened to me”.
Laelius in fact wants to point out that Scipio's death is something bad to himself that has lost such a friend, not  to Scipio with whom all has  gone wonderfully well.
(See De amicitia, 11:” quid non adeptus est, quod homini fas esset optare” meaning:” what he (Scipio) did not attain, that a man can properly wish? ”)

2. In  “… ut iam cum utroque vestrum loquar…” (10) the literal meaning of “ut”  is “in order that”, but “ut...cum utroque vestrum loquar” is used here to say “to  speak to you both".

In short, this UT does not introduce a final clause, but a Pseudo-Purpose clause as the content of the ut-clause is a kind of explanation of the intention of the speaker.
See “ut ita dicam”( so to say), “Ut vere dicam”( to tell the truth ), “ut pauca dicam” (to be brief).

3.“Senectus enim quamvis non sit gravis, ut memini Catonem anno ante quam est mortuus mecum et cum Scipione disserere, tamen aufert eam viriditatem in qua etiam nunc erat Scipio” (11) literally means:
”Although (quamvis, introducing a concessive clause with the subj.) in fact (enim) old age(senectus) is not (non sit) unpleasant/heavy( gravis), as (ut. Conjunction with Indicative) I remember (memini) that Cato  (Catonem), the year (anno. Ablative of time when) before (ante quam) he died (est mortuus), discussed  (disserere. Infinitive clause)  with  myself (mecum) and with Scipio (cum Scipione), however (tamen) it (old age)takes away (aufert) that (eam)  freshness (viriditatem) in which (in qua) Scipio  then (etiam nunc) was (erat)”, i.e. :
“Although  old age  is not heavy, as  I remember  that Cato  said when discussing with  Scipio and myself, just the year before  he (i.e. Cato) died, however  it takes away  that vigour  which Scipio  still had at that time”.

In short, Cato, though old and close to pass away, said to Laelius and Scipio that, even if old age is not so heavy, it however takes away  the vigor  that Scipio still had at that time.  

4. “… optimoque et iustissimo cuique expeditissimum.” (13)
Actually you must not add  “animo”, while it is correct to add “reditum in caelum” that however appears in the previous sentence.
So, it is correct to say:”optimoque et iustissimo  cuique [reditum in caelum] expeditissimum [esse]”.

As for “cuique” in “optimoque et iustissimo cuique”, note that the distributive  pronoun “quisque” (literally, "every one" ), when used with the superlative singular as in  e.g. “doctissimus quisque”,  is an idiomatic expression with a special meaning so that “doctissimus quisque” means “every learned man”, i. e. “all the learned” to express universality.

See also “sapientissimus quisque” = “All the wisest” or simply, “The wisest men”; “Nobilissimus quisque” = “All the noblest” or “The noblest men”; “Optimus quisque” = The best /The best men”.

Therefore in “optimoque et iustissimo cuique”  “cuique” is the dative of “quisque” depending on “expeditissimum [esse]”  and is agreed with “optimo et iustissimo”.

In short,  “ apud me antiquorum auctoritas valet ....vel eius  qui.... animos hominum esse divinos eisque, cum ex corpore excessissent,reditum in caelum patere optimoque et iustissimo cuique expeditissimum” literally means:
” The opinion (auctoritas) of our forefathers (antiquorum) counts (valet)  to me (apud me) more (plus) well as [the opinion] of the one who (eius qui).... [believes] that souls (animos) of men (hominum) are (esse) divine (divinos) and (-que) that, when (cum) they had departed (excessissent)from the body (ex corpore), a return (reditum) to heaven (in caelum) opens (patere) to them (eis-) and (-que) [this return] is [esse] very easy (expeditissimum) to all the best (optimoque) and righteous men (et iustissimo cuique)”, i.e. :
“I agree with our forefathers...and the one who ...believes that human souls are divine and, after their departure from the body, a return to heaven  opens to them and such a return is very easy and fast to  all the best and righteous men”.

Best regards,



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