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Dear Maria,

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

1. “quae pertinent omnia ad eam, quam iam dudum tracto, constantiam.” (65)
Does “eam” go with “constantiam”, meaning “that steadfastness”? Is it perfectly fine/just a matter of style to put the “quam” clause after “constantiam” or between “constantiam” and “eam”?

2. “deinde non solum ab aliquo allatas criminationes repellere, sed ne ipsum quidem esse suspiciosum, semper aliquid existimantem ab amico esse violatum” (65)
Is the “sed ne …” clause an accu + infinitive structure? If so, I don’t know why we need this accu +infinitive structure here.  

3. “Tristitia autem et in omni re severitas habet illa quidem gravitatem,” (66)
It seems to me that the subject is plural: “Tristitia” and “severitas”. But why do we have “habet” (sing)?

4. “Novitates autem si spem adferunt, ut tamquam in herbis non fallacibus fructus appareat, non sunt illae quidem repudiandae” (68)
It seems that “illa” refers to “Novitates”. Is “illa” used because the subject “Novitates” is far away from the verb “repudiandae”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In  “....quae pertinent omnia ad eam, quam iam dudum tracto, constantiam.” (Cicero, De amicitia, 65) the feminine accusative adjective “eam” goes with “constantiam”, meaning “that steadfastness”, as you say.
It is just a matter of style depending on the writer’s choice to put the “quam” clause between “eam” and “constantiam”, since the relative clause "quam iam dudum tracto" could also  be put after “ad eam constantiam”.


2.In “deinde non solum ab aliquo allatas criminationes repellere, sed ne ipsum quidem esse suspiciosum, semper aliquid existimantem ab amico esse violatum” (65) the “sed ne ipsum quidem....…” clause is  an accusative + infinitive structure depending on the main clause “Est enim boni viri..... haec duo tenere in amicitia:primum....deinde...” meaning:
“it is typical (EST) of a good man (BONI VIRI).... to maintain (TENERE) these (HAEC) two things / principles (DUO) : first (PRIMUM)....... ; secondly (DEINDE) not only (NON SOLUM) to reject (REPELLERE) accusations  (ACCUSATIONES) flung (ALLATAS)  by somebody (AB ALIQUO) [at his friend], but (SED) not even (NE...QUIDEM) to be (ESSE) himself (IPSUM) suspicious (SUSPICIOSUM), always (SEMPER) thinking (EXISTIMANTEM) that something (ALIQUID) has been violated (ESSE VIOLATUM) by his friend(AB AMICO)”, i.e.:
“it is typical of a good man ....to maintain these two principles : first ...... ; secondly  not only  to reject  charges that somebody has flung  at his friend, but also not to be suspicious, always thinking that something  wrong has been done  by his friend...”.

To conclude, this accusative +infinitive structure (“sed ne …” clause) is used here because it is a Substantive Clause which is used as the Subject of the verb “est” in “est enim boni viri...”.
In Latin in fact a Substantive Clause used as the Subject  of a verb takes the accusative + infinitive  mood as in e.g. "Traditum est Homerum caecum fuisse ” (it is a tradition that Homer was blind).


3.In  “Tristitia autem et in omni re severitas habet illa quidem gravitatem,....” (66) “tristitia” and “severitas” are two subjects and then  the verb should have been in the  plural, but  we have “habet” (3rd person sing) simply because it agrees with one of the two subjects as they are abstract nouns considered as a single whole,and in this case the verb can be singular.



4. In “Novitates autem si spem adferunt, ut tamquam in herbis non fallacibus fructus appareat, non sunt illae quidem repudiandae” (68) “illae” refers to “novitates”, but it is not an adjective that modifies “novitates” as in “illae novitates” (those new friendships ).
It is  on the contrary a feminine plural  pronoun in the following context:
” Anyway (AUTEM)  new frienships (NOVITATES), if (SI) they bring (ADFERUNT) hope (SPEM), as if (UT TAMQUAM ) some fruit (FRUCTUS) appears (APPAREAT) in not deceitful (NON FALLACIBUS) green crops(HERBIS), they (ILLAE) are not to be rejected (NON SUNT REPUDIANDAE ) indeed ( QUIDEM)”, i.e.:
“If there are new friendships that bear hope just like we have fruit in green crops that do not disappoint us at harvest time, these new friendships  are not to be rejected at all”.

In short, ILLAE is used to strengthen the concept that new friendships are not to be rejected at all.

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

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

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