Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. “amicitiam non spe mercedis adducti sed quod omnis eius fructus in ipso amore inest, expetendam putamus.” (31)
Is the following the correct order for translation: “putamus amicitiam expetendam esse non [quod (because)] spe mercedis (abl. of means) adducti [sunt] sed quod omnis eius fructus in ipso amore inest”,

2. “ut aut libidinis ministri aut adiutores essent ad iniuriam” (35)
“libidinis” is gen. modifying “ministri”. Why “ministri” in dat and not nom. like “adiutores”?

3. “Haec ita multa quasi fata impendere amicitiis ut omnia subterfugere non modo sapientiae sed etiam felicitatis diceret sibi videri.” (35)
Can you give a literal translation? I am confused about the two infinitives “impendere” and “subterfugere”.

4. “quod aderam Laenati et Rupilio consulibus in consilio” (36)
What does “consulibus in consilio” mean?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “amicitiam non spe mercedis adducti sed quod omnis eius fructus in ipso amore inest, expetendam putamus.”(Cicero, De amicitia, 31) here’s the correct order for translation:
“putamus amicitiam expetendam [esse](passive periphrastic) non [quod (because)] spe (abl. of Agent, used after a passive verb)  mercedis adducti [sumus], sed quod omnis eius fructus in ipso amore inest” meaning :
”we believe that friendship must be required not because we are influenced by hope of gain, but because its whole gain is in the love itself”.


2. In “ut aut libidinis ministri aut adiutores essent ad iniuriam” (35)the word “libidinis” is genitive depending on  the predicate noun “ministri” (nominative masculine plural of the 2nd.declension noun “minister”= agent/assistant) which is not in dative, but in  nominative just like “adiutores”.
So,  “...cum...postularetur ut aut libidinis ministri aut adiutores essent ad iniuriam” “ literally means:
” ...when (CUM) it is demanded (POSTULARETUR)  that (UT) [friends] are (ESSENT) either (AUT) agents/helpers (MINISTRI)  of licentiousness/vice (LIBIDINIS) or (AUT) accomplices (ADIUTORES) in (AD) injustice (INIURIAM)...”.
Note that the dative of MINISTER (2nd declension) would be "ministro", of course.


3. “Haec ita multa quasi fata impendēre amicitiis ut omnia subterfugere non modo sapientiae sed etiam felicitatis diceret sibi videri.” (35) literally means:
”These things (HAEC) so (ITA) numerous (MULTA) overhanged (IMPENDERE. infinitive depending on an implied  ILLE [i.e.Scipio] DICEBAT)  friendships like (QUASI)  evil fates (FATA) so that (UT introducing a Result clause) he (Scipio) said  (DICERET) that to escape (SUBTERFUGERE) them  all (OMNIA)  seemed (VIDERI . Verb of the infinitive clause) to himself (SIBI) to be typical [ESSE]  not only (NON MODO) of wisdom (SAPIENTIAE. Genitive of Possession + the verb ESSE), but also (SED ETIAM) of good luck (FELICITATIS (Genitive of Possession)”, i.e.:
”Scipio said that so many dangers overhanged/ threatened friendships just  like evil  fates so that  to escape them all seemed to him to pertain not only to wisdom but also to good luck”.

As you can see, the infinitive “impendēre”  depends on ILLE QUIDEM..  DICEBAT  that you can read at  the beginning of  the section 33, while the infinitive “subterfugere” is used as a noun with the possessive genitive and the verb “esse” (that can also  be understood) as in e.g. “Sapientis est pauca loqui”( it is wise (is typical of a wise man) to say little”.

For the Possessive Genitive see AG 343 c




4. In “quod aderam Laenati et Rupilio consulibus in consilio” (36) the dative  “consulibus” depends on “aderam”, while “ in consilio”  is an ablative of Place where.
In short, “quod aderam Laenati et Rupilio consulibus in consilio” literally means :
”because (QUOD)  I stood by (ADERAM) the consuls(CONSULIBUS. Dative depending on ADSUM) Laenas (LAENATI.Dative) and Rupilius  (RUPILIO.Dative) [ to help them] in the council /court of justice(IN CONSILIO)”.
Laelius says that he was present as adviser to the consuls, Laenas and Rupilius, when they in 132 BC had to judge C. Blossius Cumanus.

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.