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Question
Dear Maria,

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

1. “maxime quidem optandum est, ut cum aequalibus possis, quibuscum tamquam e carceribus emissus sis, cum isdem ad calcem, ut dicitur, pervenire.” (101)
It seems to me “cum aequalibus” and “cum isdem” are the same. In fact it seems to me that the sentence might still be correct and have the same meaning if we take “cum isdem” out. Maybe I am wrong.

2. “virtutem enim amavi illius viri” (102)
Does “illius viri” modify “virtutem”? Can the same meaning be expressed by saying “eius virtutem”?

3. “nec mihi soli versatur ante oculos,...sed etiam ...”(102)
Why “soli” and not “solum”?

4. “Haec habui de amicitia quae dicerem” (104)
Is the order for translation “habui haec quae dicerem de amicitia? Is “haec” the obj. of “habui” and the antecedent of “quae”?  

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.You are right in saying  that in “maxime quidem optandum est, ut cum aequalibus possis, quibuscum tamquam e carceribus emissus sis, cum isdem ad calcem, ut dicitur, pervenire.” (Cicero, De amicitia, 101) “cum aequalibus” and “cum isdem” are the same and  the sentence might still be correct and have the same meaning if we take “cum isdem” out.
Anyway, Cicero uses “cum isdem” just to point out that, since we began the race of our life with persons of our own  age,  it  is  exactly with the same persons that it  would be  desirable to end our life. Hence the use of “cum isdem”.


2.In “virtutem enim amavi illius viri” (102), literally meaning :”I loved (amavi) the virtue (virtutem)  of that (illius) man (viri) ”, “illius viri”  is the genitive depending on  “virtutem”.
Anyway the same meaning could be expressed by saying “eius virtutem” in "Eius virtutem amavi"meaning:“I loved his virtue”.


3.In  “nec mihi soli versatur ante oculos,...sed etiam ...”(102) the dative  “soli” (from the adjective “solus”) agrees with “mihi” just to strengthen the personal pronoun.
The adverb  “solum” could have been used, of course, but it could have been less effective.
Anyway, the use of the adjective or the adverb  depends on the writer's choice.


4.In  “Haec habui de amicitia quae dicerem” (104) the order for translation is exactly  “habui haec quae dicerem de amicitia” where  “haec” (acc. neuter plural)  is the the obj. of “habui” and the antecedent of the relative pronoun  “quae” (acc. neuter plural) depending on "dicerem".


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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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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