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

1. Iam illis promissis standum non esse quis non videt, quae coactus quis metu, quae deceptus dolo promiserit? (I, 32)
Can you give a literal translation? The things I’m not sure are: Is “illis promissis standum non esse” 2nd periphrastic construction? If so, why “illis promissis” dative? I thought it is the subj. Also, is “quis” in the “quae” clause equivalent to “aliquis”?  .

2. Ex quo illud "summum ius summa iniuria" factum est iam tritum sermone proverbium. (I, 33)
The grammar is not clear to me. Could you give a literal translation, which should clarify the grammar?

3. cum triginta dierum essent cum hoste indutiae factae (I, 33)
Why genitive “dierum”?

4. si verum est Q. Fabium Labeonem seu quem alium--nihil enim habeo praeter auditum --arbitrum Nolanis et Neapolitanis de finibus a senatu datum (I, 33)
Why accu. “arbitrum”

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,


1.Note that in “Iam illis promissis standum non esse quis non videt, quae coactus quis metu, quae deceptus dolo promiserit?"(Cicero, De Officiis, I, 32):

(a) the indirect object “illis promissis” is in the dative as it depends upon “standum” from “stare” which takes the dative when it means “to keep /to fulfill (one’s promise)”;

(b)“quis” in the “quae” clause is  just equivalent to “aliquis” meaning “somebody”;  

(c)there is no subject in “standum non esse” as this passive periphrastic is used impersonally and thus it is in the neuter.
Moreover the dative of the Agent in the second periphrastic conjugation denotes the person on whom the necessity rests as in e.g. “Mihi faciendum est” ( It is to be done by me/ I must do it).

To sum up, here’s the literal translation you asked me:
”Further (iam) who (quis, interrogative pronoun) does not see (non videt) that it must not be loyal  (standum non esse, impersonal construction) to those (illis) promises (promissis, dative depending upon “standum”) that (quae, neuter plural accusative) somebody (quis, indefinite pronoun) has promised (promiserit) having been forced (coactus) by fear (metu) [or] that (quae) has promised (promiserit. This verb is used only once )having been  misled (deceptus) by deceit ”, i.e.:
“Further who does not see that  we must not fulfill those promises  that  we  made  forced by fear  or misled  by false pretences?”



2.Here’s the literal translation of “ Ex quo illud "summum ius summa iniuria" factum est iam tritum sermone proverbium. (I, 33):
”Hence (ex quo) that  famous saying (illud) “supreme/greatest (summum) justice (ius), supreme/greatest (summa) injustice (iniuria)” has become (factum est, agreeing with “illud” in the pregnant sense of “saying”) by now (iam) a trite (tritum)  proverb (proverbium) in [our] talk (sermone)”, i.e.:
“Hence that famous saying “supreme justice, supreme injustice” which has now become a trite proverb in our conversation”.



3.In “cum triginta dierum essent cum hoste indutiae factae (I, 33) the plural genitive “dierum” connected with the cardinal numeral “triginta” depends upon “indutiae”  which is the subject of  the “cum” temporal clause, so that  the order for translation would be as follows:”cum indutiae of triginta dierum essent factae cum hoste” meaning:
”when (cum) a truce (indutiae, ‘plurale tantum’ noun) of thirty (triginta) days (dierum)  has been made (factae sunt)with the enemy (cum hoste)”, i.e.: “when a truce has been made with the enemy for thirty days”.



4.In “ si verum est Q. Fabium Labeonem seu quem alium--nihil enim habeo praeter auditum --arbitrum Nolanis et Neapolitanis de finibus a senatu datum (I, 33) the accusative  “arbitrum” is a predicate accusative, i.e. “an accusative in the Predicate referring to the same person or thing as the Direct Object, but not in apposition with it”(AG 392).

Therefore “si verum est Q. Fabium Labeonem.... arbitrum Nolanis et Neapolitanis de finibus a senatu datum” literally means:
”if it is true (si verum est) that Quintus Fabius Labeo (Q. Fabium Labeonem) ... was given (datum [esse]) by the senate (a senatu) as an arbiter/ a judge(arbitrum, predicate accusative of “Q. Fabium Labeonem”) in the dispute over (de) the Nolans (Nolanis) and Neapolitans(Napolitanis) borders (finibus)..”, i.e.:
“if it is true that Quintus Fabius Labeo was appointed by the senate as an arbiter  in the dispute over  the Nolans and Neapolitans borders..”.


Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,
Maria

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