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

1. temere autem in acie versari et manu cum hoste confligere immane quiddam et beluarum simile est; (81)
The two infinitives “versari” and “configure” serve as the subject. Does “et” before “beluarum” connect “beluarum” and another gen. noun, which, however, I couldn’t see? I don’t know the function of “immane” (adv).  

2. si plus adipiscare re explicata boni quam addubitata mali. (83)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. ne re publica quidem postulante (84)
Is this an abl. abs.?

4. Quibus ille respondit Lacedaemonios classe illa amissa aliam parare posse, (84)
Is “illa amissa” abl. abs.? Is “illa” the obj. of “amissa”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “...temere autem in acie versari et manu cum hoste confligere immane quiddam et beluarum simile est” (Cicero, De Officiis, I, 81) the two present  infinitives “versari” and “confligere” serve as the subject.  
As for “et” before “beluarum”, it  connects “immane quiddam “ and “beluarum simile”, since “...immane quiddam et beluarum simile est “ literally means:
” ...is (est) something (quiddam) inhuman (immane, neuter adjective agreeing with the neuter “quiddam”) and (et) similar (simile, neuter adjective agreeing with “quiddam”) to wild beasts (beluarum, genitive plural depending upon “simile”).  

In short, “...temere autem in acie versari et manu cum hoste confligere immane quiddam et beluarum simile est” literally means:
”but (autem) to mix (versari, deponent verb) rashly (temere, adverb)in the battle (in acie) and to fight (confligere) hand to hand (manu, ablative of means) with the enemy (cum hoste)  is something (quiddam) inhuman (immane, neuter adjective agreeing with the neuter  “quiddam”) and (et) similar (simile, neuter adjective agreeing with “quiddam”) to wild beasts (”(beluarum”, genitive plural depending upon “simile”)”, i.e.:"But to mix rashly in the battle and to fight hand to hand with the enemy is something barbarous and brutish ".



2. “si plus adipiscare re explicata boni quam addubitata mali” (I, 83) literally means:” if (si) you obtain (adipiscare, i.e. adipiscaris”, present subjunctive, 2nd person singular) more (plus) of useful thing/advantage (boni, partitive genitive depending on “plus”), a thing(re, abl abs)  having been adjusted (explicata, abl abs)than (quam)[ more(plus)] of evil(mali, partitive genitive depending on “plus”) [a thing(re)implied ] having been called in question(addubitata, abl abs)”, i.e.:
“..if the advantages of a successful decision are greater than the disadvantages of a doubtful choice” (with reference to how a wise man is able to withstand a storm ).


3. “....ne re publica quidem postulante...” (I, 84) is just an abl. abs. literally meaning “..not even (ne...quidem) [their] country (re publica) demanding( postulante) [it]”, i.e.: “...even though the interests of their country demanded it...”.



4.In “Quibus ille respondit Lacedaemonios classe illa amissa aliam parare posse,...” (I, 84) “classe illa amissa”  is just an abl. abs. where the abl. feminine singular “classe” is the subject of the past participle “amissa” and “illa” is the adjective of “classe”, so that “classe illa amissa” literally means:” that (illa, demonstrative adjective agreeing with “classe”) fleet (classe, subject of the past participle “amissa”) having been lost (amissa)”, i.e.: “if the Spartans lost that fleet...”
See AG 419 for the ablative absolute.

Best,

Maria

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