Latin/grammar

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

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

1. “Verum ergo illud est quod a Tarentino Archyta, ut opinor, dici solitum nostros senes commemorare audivi ab aliis senibus auditum” (88)
The grammar of this sentence is confusing to me.

2. “quod in amicissimo quoque dulcissimum est. “ (88)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

3. “Ut igitur et monere et moneri proprium est verae amicitiae et alterum libere facere, non aspere, alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter, sic habendum est nullam in amicitiis pestem esse maiorem quam adulationem …” (91)
A few questions: (1) Are “monere” and “moneri” the subj? Is it because they are connected by et ...et that they are treated as singular (est)? (2) In “alterum libere facere, non aspere, alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter”, what is the subj.? Also, Is “alterum” accu.? (3) Why is “nullam” in accu. ? Is “nullam” subj. in the “sic …” clause?

Thank you.

Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.in “Verum ergo illud est quod a Tarentino Archyta, ut opinor, dici solitum nostros senes commemorare audivi ab aliis senibus auditum” (Cicero, De amicitia, 88)  there is 1)a main clause (Verum ergo illud est); 2)a relative clause (quod....audivi);3) a parenthetic clause (ut opinor); 4)an infinitive clause (a Tarentino Archyta..... dici solitum nostros senes commemorare)and finally a predicate participle (ab aliis senibus auditum ).
As you can see, Latin is a language that uses many subordinate clauses that are  joined to a main clause to form a complex sentence with one or more subordinate clauses.

So, here’s the literal translation of “Verum ergo illud est quod a Tarentino Archyta, ut opinor, dici solitum nostros senes commemorare audivi ab aliis senibus auditum”:
”It is (est) therefore (ergo) true (verum)  what (illud...quod), as I think (ut opinor), I have heard (audivi) that our (nostros) old men (senes) remembered (commemorare) that it (related to “what”/illud quod) was used (solitum) to be said (dici) by Archytas of Tarentum (a Tarentino Archyta), after they had heard it (auditum, predicate participle related to “illud quod”) from other (ab aliis) old men (senibus)..”, i.e.:
”It is therefore true what, as I think, Architas of Tarentum used to say, just as I’ve heard repeated by our old men who have heard it from other  old men...”.



2. Here’s the literal translation of “quod in amicissimo quoque dulcissimum est. “ (88):
”which (quod, used to introduce a relative clause when it refers to a whole clause or sentence, i.e to “ad aliquod tamquam adminiculum adnititur” in this context) is the best (dulcissimum) in every best friend (in amicissimo quoque, where the pronoun “quisque”,  in the ablative depending on “in”,  stands after the superlative “amicissimo” in an idiomatic construction to express universality such as in e.g. “doctissimus quisque” meaning “every learned man”, i. e. all the learned).

In short, “Sic natura solitarium nihil amat semperque ad aliquod tamquam adminiculum adnititur,quod in amicissimo quoque dulcissimum est” means:
”Thus nature loves nothing solitary (does not love solitude) and always (semperque) leans (adnititur) on (ad) some sort (aliquod tamquam) of support (adminiculum) which (quod) is (est) the best /the most delightful(dulcissimum),if we find such a support in a very dear friend”.



3. in “Ut igitur et monere et moneri proprium est verae amicitiae et alterum libere facere, non aspere, alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter, sic habendum est nullam in amicitiis pestem esse maiorem quam adulationem …” (91) the infinitives  “monere” (active) and “moneri” (passive) are  the subject of “proprium est”. It is just  because these infinitives  are connected by “et ...et “ that they are treated as singular (est).

In “alterum libere facere, non aspere, alterum patienter accipere, non repugnanter”  the subjects are the infinitives “facere” and  “accipere” that refer to “proprium est”, while  “alterum...alterum “ are  accusatives depending on “facere” and “accipere”.
Note that “alter...alter”  are used in distributive clauses to mean : the one ... the other.

Finally,  “nullam” in accusative agreeing with “pestem”, i.e. “nullam pestem” ,  is  the subj. in the infinitive  clause “nullam in amicitiis pestem esse maiorem quam adulationem” depending on “sic habendum est”.
In short:”As (ut) therefore (igitur) both (et) to advise (monere) and (et) to be advised (moneri) are characteristic (proprium est) of true friendship (verae amicitiae) as well as  (et) to do (facere) the one thing (alterum) openly (libere), not (non) harshly(aspere), and to receive (accipere) the other thing (alterum) patiently (patienter), not (non) rebelliously (repugnanter), so (sic) it is to be considered  as certain (habendum est) that in friendships (in amicitiis) there is (esse) no (nullam) greater (maiorem)  bane (pestem) than (quam) adulation(adulationem, as a 2nd term of comparison)...”.


Hope all is clear enough.

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.