Latin/grammar

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Question
Dear Maria,

Could you help me with the following (all from de Amicitia):

1. “eius enim est istorum quidque, qui vicit viribus” (55)
Is this order for translation correct? enim (for) quidque (each) istorum (of those things) est (is) eius (of him), qui (who) vicit viribus (wins with strength).

2. “Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi”  (56)
Does the use of “qui” have anything to do with “fines” and “termini” being m. pl.? Is it interrogative pronoun? Does it go with “fines” and “termini” and mean “what boundary/limit”?

3. “precari ab indigno, supplicare, tum acerbius in aliquem invehi insectarique vehementius” (57)
I don’t understand why we have all these infinitives. Also, is “precari ab indigno, supplicare” the same as “precari supplicareque ab indigno”?

4. “ut par sit ratio acceptorum et datorum.” (58)
Is “ratio acceptorum et datorum” the subject? It seems to me that there is “ratio” understood after “et”, meaning the two "ratio" have to be equal ("par sit"). But then “ratio acceptorum et ratio datorum” becomes pl. On the other hand it has to be sing because of “sit”.
Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “eius enim est istorum quidque, qui vicit viribus” (Cicero, De amicitia, 55) your order for translation ” enim (for) quidque (each) istorum (of those things) est (is) eius (of him), qui (who) vicit viribus (wins with strength)" is correct and means:“for  each of  such material things is easy prey for the strongest“.

2.In “Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi”  (56) the word “qui” is used as an interrogative adjective which modifies  both “fines”(nominative masculine plural) and “termini”(nominative masculine plural) and then  it goes with “fines” and “termini” in the indirect  interrogative clause “qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi “.

In short,  “Constituendi autem sunt qui sint in amicitia fines et quasi termini diligendi”  literally means:
”What (QUI) are (SINT) in a friendship(IN AMICITIA) the limits (FINES) and almost (QUASI) the boundaries (TERMINI) of loving (DILIGENDI.Gerund genitive) are (SUNT) to be determined (CONSTITUENDI .Passive periphrastic whose subject is QUI in the indirect discourse)”, i.e. :
“We now must determine what are the limits within  a friendship and so to speak the boundaries of our affection ”.


3.In  “precari ab indigno, supplicare, tum acerbius in aliquem invehi insectarique vehementius” (57) we have all these infinitives simply because they are a list of  those things we would do for our friends.

Such infinitives in fact follow the sentence “quam multa enim.....facimus causa amicorum!” and
therefore “quam multa enim.....facimus causa amicorum! precari ab indigno, supplicare, tum acerbius in aliquem invehi insectarique vehementius..” literally means:
” How many things (QUAM MULTA) we do (FACIMUS), in fact (ENIM),  for (CAUSA) our friends (AMICORUM)!to beg (PRECARI) an undeserving man (AB INDIGNO), to implore (SUPPLICARE),and then (TUM)  to inveigh (INVEHI) against  (IN) somebody  (ALIQUEM) rather/quite harshly and to blame (INSECTARIQUE)  [him] rather/quite vehemently (VEHEMENTIUS)”

Note that  “precari ab indigno, supplicare”  is not the same as “precari supplicareque ab indigno” because “precor” takes “a/ab + abl. of person addressed, whereas “supplico” must take the accusative. This is why you cannot say “precari supplicareque ab indigno” as this would be grammatically wrong.


4. “ut par sit ratio acceptorum et datorum.” (58) is  a Result clause with UT + the subjunctive SIT whose subject is RATIO+ its predicate adjective PAR and the genitives ACCEPTORUM et DATORUM.
So, it is not necessary to have “ratio” understood after “et”.

In short,  “...ut par sit ratio acceptorum et datorum.” literally means:”...so that(UT) the balance (RATIO) of  things received (ACCEPTORUM) and things given (DATORUM) is (SIT) equal (PAR)”, i.e.:
“so that the balance of  credits and debits  can be equal”.

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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