Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. Tum autem aut anquirunt aut consultant … conducat id necne, de quo deliberant; quae deliberatio omnis in rationem utilitatis cadit.” (I, 9)
(a)   Does “quo” refer to “id”? “id, de quo…” means “that, which they deliberated”.
(b)   Does “quae deliberation omnis” refer to what they deliberated in the first part of the sentence: “de quo deliberant”.

2. causas rerum videt earumque praegressus et quasi antecessiones non ignorat, (11)
Can you give a literal translation of the above?

3. impellitque, ut hominum coetus et celebrationes et esse et a se obiri velit ob easque causas studeat parare ea (12)
This is part of a long sentence. I understand the rest part of the sentence, but this part presents some difficulty to me.

4. Huic veri videndi cupiditati adiuncta est appetitio quaedam principatus, (I, 13)
What does “principatus” mean in this sentence?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,


1.In “Tum autem aut anquirunt aut consultant …. conducat id necne, de quo deliberant; quae deliberatio omnis in rationem utilitatis cadit....” (Cicero, De Officiis I, 9) the relative pronoun  “quo” refers to  its antecedent “id” and then “id, de quo…” literally means “that (id) , about (de) which (quo)  they  are deliberating (deliberant)”, i.e.:“ what they are discussing”.

As for  “quae deliberatio omnis”, it refers exactly  to what they are deliberating  in the first part of the sentence which ends with “de quo deliberant”.


2. Here’s the literal translation of “...causas rerum videt earumque praegressus et quasi antecessiones non ignorat, (11):
” ...he sees (videt) the causes (causas) of things(rerum) and (-que) [their] advances /courses forwards (praegressus.Acc.plural) and (et) he is not ignorant  of (non  ignorat) the almost (quasi) antecedent causes (antecessiones)”...., i.e.:
“he perceives the causes of things and their steps in development as well as the antecedent causes“, in the sense that he can understand the relation of cause to effect and of effect to cause.



3.“ ....impellitque, ut hominum coetus et celebrationes et esse et a se obiri velit ob easque causas studeat parare ea quae ... “ (12) literally means:
” and (-que)  she (i.e. Nature )  urges (impellit) in order that (ut)  numerous assemblage (coetus) and (et) concourses (celebrationes)  of men (hominum) want (velit, depending on “ut”. 3rd person singular as it refers to collective nouns) to be (esse) as well as (et...et)  to be attended (obiri) by themselves (a se) and (-que) for (ob)  these (eas)  reasons (causas) she(Nature)  strives (studeat, depending on “ut”) to prepare (parare) those things (ea)...”, i.e.:
“Nature urges men to form public assemblies and to take part in them themselves and thus she tries to prepare those things that ...”.  



4.In “Huic veri videndi cupiditati adiuncta est appetitio quaedam principatus, ...”(I, 13) the noun  “principatus” literally means “pre-eminence”,”first place”,” leadership”, so that “Huic veri videndi cupiditati adiuncta est appetitio quaedam principatus...” means:
” To this (huic) passionate desire (cupiditati) for  seeing (videndi) truth (veri) a kind of (quaedam) appetite  /desire (appetitio) of pre-eminence/leadership is added  (adiuncta est)...”, just to point out that the one who longs for  discovering  truth longs  also for leadership because a well-educated mind does not want to be subject to anybody  who is not able to give rules of conduct or is a teacher of truth .

As you can see, grammatical structure of a sentence is  very difficult in Cicero’s speech where there are many subordinate clauses whose syntax is hard to translate into English which prefers  not to  use  subordinate clauses.

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.