Latin/grammar

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

1. ornatu ad actionem apto (126)
What does this mean?

2. ut probemur iis (126)
What does this mean? Why dative “iis”?

3. quae partes autem corporis ad naturae necessitatem datae aspectum essent deformem habiturae atque foedum, eas contexit atque abdidit (126)
Is “eas” the antecedent of “quae”? Is “quae” the subj. in the “quae” relative clause and “datae essent” the main verb in the “quae” clause? Could you give a literal translation of the sentence?

4. quarumque partium corporis usus sunt necessarii, eas neque partes … (127)
Does “quarum” have an antecedent? Is “necessarii” the pl. gen. of “necessarius”?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.“….ornatu ad actionem apto…” (Cicero, De Officiis, I, 126) means:”…. in the ornament/ elegance  (ornatu) suitable (apto, adjective agreeing with "ornatu") for (ad) action/behaviour (actionem)..”.
Note that “ornatu ad actionem apto” depends on "...decorum…positum est in tribus rebus…” meaning:” …decorum/propriety/dignity (decorum) stands (positum est) in three things/elements(in tribus rebus): in beauty (formositate), in the right order (ordine), in the elegance (ornatu) appropriate (apto) for [our] behaviour (ad actionem)”.



2. “….ut probemur iis…” (I, 126) depending on “cura …illa” (that…care/concern)  literally means:”...in order that (ut, final clause depending on “cura”) we please (probemur, passive voice) those… (iis, dative depending on the passive form “probari”).
Note that the passive voice "probari" takes the dative as in “probari alicui” meaning “to please somebody”.

As you can see, it is the passive verb “probari” that governs the dative “iis” which is followed by “quibuscum apud quosque vivamus” liteally meaning:” with (-cum) whom (quibus-) and (-que) amongst (apud)  whom (quos) we live (vivamus)”.


3.Note that in  “….quae partes autem corporis ad naturae necessitatem datae aspectum essent deformem habiturae atque foedum, eas contexit atque abdidit” (I,126):

a)it is the accusative “partes” the antecedent of “eas”;

b)“quae ” is  the subj. in the “quae” relative clause;

c)“datae” is a predicate participle agreeing with “ quae”;

d) “habiturae essent” (first periphrastic)  is the main verb in the “quae” clause.

As for the literal translation, here it is:
”…but (autem) the parts (partes, accusative plural) of the body (corporis)  that (quae, nominative feminine plural related to "partes"), given (datae) for (ad) the need (necessitatem) of nature (naturae), would be (essent) about to have (habiturae, Future Participle agreeing with “quae”. First periphrastic) an unsightly ( deformem, agreeing with “aspectum”) and unpleasant (atque foedum, agreeing with "aspectum") appearance (aspectum, direct object), those (eas, referring to “partes” just to emphasize it) she (i.e. nature) covered (contexit) and hid (atque  abdidit)”.


4.In “….quarumque partium corporis usus sunt necessarii, eas neque partes …” (I, 127) “quarum” is the  antecedent of “eas…partes”, while  “necessarii” is the nominative masculine plural of “necessarius” agreed with the nominative plural “usus” whose verb is “sunt”.

Here’s the literal translation of “…quarumque partium corporis usus sunt necessarii, eas neque partes neque earum usus suis nominibus appellant”:
”…and (-que) of those parts (quarum partium)  of the body  (corporis) whose ( see the previous “quarum”, AG 308 d) uses /functions (usus, nom pl) are (sunt) necessary (necessarii), neither (neque)  those  parts (eas …partes) nor (neque) the functions (usus, acc pl) of those (earum) [right-minded people /qui sana mente sunt, subject in the previous sentence)] call (appellant) by their names (suis nominibus)”.

For the use of the relative pronoun see AG 306a  and AG 308d

Kind regards,

Maria

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