Latin/grammar

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

1. Cum vero de imperio decertatur belloque quaeritur gloria (I, 38)
Is “decertatur” used impersonally and therefore there is no subj.? Is “bello” abl. of means of “quaeritur” and “gloria” the subj. of “quaeritur”?

2. Atque etiam si quid singuli temporibus adducti hosti promiserunt, (39)
Does “adducti” modify “quid [=aliquid?] temporibus”?

3. Secundo autem Punico bello post Cannensem pugnam quos decem Hannibal Romam misit … (40)
What does “quos” mean here?

4. Deinceps, …, de beneficentia ac de liberalitate dicatur, … , sed habet multas cautiones. (I, 42)
What is the subject of the verb “dicatur” and the subject of the verb “habet”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Cum vero de imperio decertatur belloque quaeritur gloria (Cicero, De Officiis, I, 38) the verb  “decertatur” is  used impersonally and therefore there is no subject.
As for “bello”, it is just an abl. of means of “quaeritur”, while “gloria”  is the subj. of “quaeritur”, since the sentence literally translates as:
”But (vero) when  it is fought (cum...decertatur) about/for (de) supremacy(imperio) and (-que) glory (gloria) is sought (quaeritur) by means of war (bello-)...”.


2. In “Atque etiam si quid singuli temporibus adducti hosti promiserunt” (I, 39) the past participle  “adducti” modifies the subject “singuli” (nominative masculine plural), since “si...singuli temporibus adducti”  literally means:”if....individuals (singuli) forced (adducti) by circumstances (temporibus) ..”, i.e.:
“if ....individuals (singuli) forced (adducti)by circumstances (temporibus)promised (promiserunt) anything (quid, which stands for “aliquid” preceded by “si”) to the enemy(hosti) ...”.



3. In “Secundo autem Punico bello post Cannensem pugnam quos decem Hannibal Romam misit … “(I,40)  the relative pronoun “quos” (accusative masculine plural) means:”those whom” with the antecedent “illos” understood.
Note that “quos” is in turn the antecedent of “eos” in ...”eos.......reliquerunt”.

In short, here’s the literal translation of “Secundo autem Punico bello post Cannensem pugnam quos decem Hannibal Romam misit astrictos iure iurando se redituros esse nisi de redimendis iis, qui capti erant, impetrassent, eos omnes censores, quoad quisque eorum vixit, quod peierassent in aerariis reliquerunt, nec minus illum, qui iure iurando fraude culpam invenerat”:

”And again (autem)  in the Second Punic War (secundo Punico bello) after the Battle of Cannae (post Cannensem pugnam) those ten whom (quos decem) Hannibal sent to Rome (Hannibal Romam misit) bound (astrictos, predicate participle) by an oath (iure iurando) to return (se redituros esse) , if they did not succeed (nisi impetrassent)  in ransoming (de redimendis)  those (iis, part of the gerundive) who (qui) had been made prisoners (capti erant), those (eos) all (omnes, direct object connected to “eos”) the censors (censores, subject) left (reliquerunt) in /among the tributaries (in aerariis. See below)  until (quoad) anyone (quisque) of them (eorum) lived (vixit), because (quod) they were  guilty of perjury (peierassent),  and not less (nec minus) [the censors punished] the one who (illum qui) had came upon /incurred (invenerat) guilt (culpam) by a violation/fraud  (fraude)  of [his] oath (iure iurando)”, i.e.:

“And again in the Second Punic War  after the Battle of Cannae  those ten Roman youngs, whom Hannibal sent to Rome bound  by the oath to return, if they did not succeed in ransoming  those Carthaginians  who  had been made prisoners,  were all  placed among  the tributaries  by the Roman  censors, until any one of them  lived, because  they were  guilty of perjury in not returning,  and not less  was  punished the one who had violated  his oath.”

Note that in Roman law  the  “aerarii” were  those  who pay a polltax, but cannot vote nor hold office. In short, they  belonged to a lowest class, and  the censors could degrade citizens to this class, if they were guilty of a serious wrong.


4. In “Deinceps, ... de beneficentia ac de liberalitate dicatur, qua quidem nihil est … , sed habet multas cautiones" (I, 42)  the verb “dicatur” is used impersonally  and  literally means:”let  it be spoken”, while  the subject of the verb “habet” is  grammatically “nihil” which however refers to the hendiadys “beneficentia ac liberalitas”, where a single idea  is expressed by two words connected with ‘and’.

So, here’s the literal translation of “Deinceps..... de beneficentia ae deliberalitate dicatur, qua quidem nihil est naturae hominis accommodatius, sed habet multas cautiones”:
“Next in order (deinceps).....let it be spoken (dicatur.Hortatory subjunctive present) about (de) beneficence(beneficentia) and generosity (liberalitate), than which (qua, ablative of comparison  related to the hendiadys “beneficentia ac liberalitate”, and then in the feminine singular) nothing (nihil) is definitely (quidem)more suitable (accommodatius)  to nature (naturae) of man (hominis), but (sed) has /requires (habet, connected with “nihil” and the hendiadys) many (multas) cautions”, i.e. :

” Next in order .....let I speak  of  beneficence and generosity. Nothing is in fact  more suitable  to human nature than this, but  it requires many  cautions”


Best regards,
Maria

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