Latin/grammar

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

1. ...iis ipsis, quibus benigne videbitur fieri, (I, 42)
Could you give a literal translation of the “quibus” clause?

2. quas enim copias his et suppeditari aequius est et relinqui, eas transferunt ad alienos. (44)
Can “copias” be placed after “eas” so that “eas copias” is the antecedent of “quas”? Also is “his” the indirect obj. of “suppeditari” and “relinqui”, meaning “to them”?

3. Videre etiam licet plerosque non tam natura liberales quam quadam gloria ductos, ut benefici videantur, facere multa, (44)
Does “plerosque” and “facere” form the accu+inf. structure in the clause introduced by “videre”?

4. Sin erunt merita, ut non ineunda, sed referenda sit gratia, (47)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the literal translation of  “Videndum est ...., primum ne obsit benignitas et iis ipsis, quibus benigne videbitur fieri et ceteris, deinde.....”(Cicero, De Officiis, I, 42):
”It must  be seen to it (videndum est) first (primum) that (ne) [our] benevolence (benignitas) is not harmful (obsit) either (et, correlative) to those same persons (iis ipsis, dative depending upon “obsit”), to whom (quibus) it will seem (videbitur) to be done (fieri) benevolently (benigne), or (et, correlative) to others (ceteris), secondly (deinde)...”, i.e.:
“First, we  must  see to it, that our benevolence  is not harmful either  to those persons, to whom our benevolence  will seem to be addressed,  or to others, secondly...”.

So, as you can see, the literal translation of the “quibus” clause, i.e. “...iis ipsis, quibus benigne videbitur fieri..”,  is the following:
”to those same persons (iis ipsis, dative depending upon “obsit”), to whom (quibus) it will seem (videbitur) to be done (fieri) benevolently (benigne)...”.



2. In “....quas enim copias his et suppeditari aequius est et relinqui, eas transferunt ad alienos..” (I, 44) the accusative “copias” could  be placed after “eas” so that “eas copias”  would become the antecedent of “quas”.
Anyway in this Latin text the antecedent is just “quas...copias” (literally, “those riches that”), while “eas” (literally, “those”), connecting to the preceding relative “quas”, is used for emphasis.

Please note that when the pronoun "is" would stand in the same case with the relative, it is usually omitted; when the relative precedes, the pronoun "is" is sometimes employed for emphasis.

As for the dative plural “his”, it is the indirect obj. of “suppeditari” and “relinqui” and means “to them” related to “proximos” in the previous sentence, so that “....primum in eo peccant, quod iniuriosi sunt in proximos; quas enim copias his et suppeditari aequius est et relinqui, eas transferunt ad alienos” literally means:
”...first (primum) they do wrong (peccant) because (quod) are (sunt) injurious (iniuriosi) to (in) the closest/next of kin (proximos);in fact(enim) those riches that (quas copias) it would be (est) more just (aequius) to be given (suppeditari) and bequeathed (relinqui) to those persons (his, i.e. “the next of kin”), those [riches] (eas) they give (transferunt) to (in) strangers to the family (alienos)", i.e.:
"first  they do wrong because are injurious to their relatives, for they give to strangers to the family those riches that it would be more just to give and bequeath to those relatives ".



3.In “Videre etiam licet plerosque non tam natura liberales quam quadam gloria ductos, ut benefici videantur, facere multa”(I, 44) “plerosque” and “facere” form  exactly the accu+inf. structure in the clause introduced by “videre”.

Here’s the literal translation:”It is also possible (etiam licet) to see (videre) that most people (plerosque) not so (non tam) generous (liberales) but rather (quam) led (ductos, predicate participle) by a kind of ambition (quadam gloria), make (facere) many things (multa) in order that (ut) they seem (videantur) beneficent/liberal (benefici)”, i.e.
"we can also see that most people who are not so generous,but rather inspired by a kind of ambition, do many deeds in order that they seem beneficent".


4. “Sin erunt merita, ut non ineunda, sed referenda sit gratia, maior quaedam cura adhibenda est...” (I, 47) literally means:
”If however(sin) there will be (erunt) merits (merita), so  that (ut, introducing a result clause)  gratitude (gratia)[of others] must not be gained (non ineunda [sit]), but (sed)  must  be shown /expressed (referenda sit) [by us], still greater diligence (maior quaedam cura) must be used (adhibenda est)”, i.e.:
”If however  there  will be  someone that has  merits towards us, so that we must not gain his gratitude, but on the contrary we must express ours, we have to use a still greater  diligence in being grateful".

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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