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

1. tum in tota vita constituenda multo est ei rei cura maior adhibenda,(119)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. utriusque omnino habenda ratio est in deligendo genere vitae, sed naturae magis (120)
Could you give a literal translation? Does “utrius” go with “ratio”? Is “ratio” the subj. of “habenda est”?

3. Qui igitur ad naturae suae non vitiosae genus consilium vivendi omne contulerit (120)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. Commutato autem genere vitae omni ratione curandum est ut id bono consilio fecisse videamur (121)
Is "Commutato autem genere vitae" abl. abs.? Could you give a literal translation of “omni ratione curandum est”?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the literal translation of  “…tum in tota vita constituenda multo est ei rei cura maior adhibenda…”(Cicero, De Officiis, I, 119):
”…so (tum)  in ordering (in …costituenda, gerundive in the ablative femminine agreed with “vita”) the whole (tota, abl fem agreed with “vita”) life (vita, abl, gerundive construction) much (multo, ablative of  Degree of Difference before the comparative "maior" ) greater (maior)  care (cura, subject of the passive periphrastic) must be devoted (est adhibenda, passive periphrastic) to that (ei, dative sing of this adjective agreed with “rei”) thing (rei, dative depending on “adhibenda”)..”, i.e.:
“..so in ordering the whole course of our life much greater care must be devoted to that native disposition/propriety (see the previous “vitae cursum )..”.

For the Ablative of  Degree of Difference see AG 414.


2.“… utriusque omnino habenda ratio est in deligendo genere vitae, sed naturae magis …”(I, 120) literally means:
”...a care/ account (ratio, subj. of “habenda est ) of them both (utriusque,genitive of the pronoun  “uterque”, related to “natura” and “fortuna” in the previous phrase) must be certainly taken(omnino…habenda est, passive periphrastic) in choosing (in deligendo, gerundive agreed with “genere”) the sort (genere) of life (vitae), but (sed) more (magis) of nature (naturae)..”, i.e.:
“… in choosing  life we must certainly take account of them both (nature and fortune), but especially  of  nature..”.

Note that the pronoun “uterque, utraque, utrumque” means “one and the other”/” both”.



3. Here’s the literal translation for  “Qui igitur ad naturae suae non vitiosae genus consilium vivendi omne contulerit..” (I,120):
”The one who (qui) therefore (igitur) had conformed (contulerit, perf subj act) the whole (omne) plan (consilium) of living (vivendi, gerund genitive) to the sort (ad…genus) of his (suae) not (non) vicious (vitiosae) nature (naturae)…”, i.e.:
“Therefore who has made his whole life conform to his better nature…”



4.In “Commutato autem genere vitae omni ratione curandum est ut id bono consilio fecisse videamur “ (I, 121)"Commutato .. genere …" is an abl. abs. meaning “the sort …having been changed”  so that “Commutato autem genere vitae omni ratione curandum est ut id bono consilio fecisse videamur “ literally means:
”the sort (genere) of life (vitae) having then been changed (commutato autem), it must be cared (curandum est, impersonal passive periphrastic) with all way (omni  ratione) so that  (ut) we seem (videamur, personal construction of “videor”) to have done (fecisse) it (id) with good reason (bono consilio, ablative of manner)”, i.e. :
“When we have changed our life, we must take all possible care to seem that we have done so with good reason”.

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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