Dear Maria,
Could you please help me with the following (all from De Ira III):

1. inter voluptates est superesse quod speres (De Ira, 3.31.1)
Is “superesse” the subj. of “est”?

2. Quanto risu prosequenda sunt quae nobis lacrimas educunt! (De Ira, 3.33.4)   
Does this sentence mean: Thinking back, things we did then now must look laughable. What does ‘lacrimas educunt” exactly mean? Does it mean “laughable” or “sad”?

3. hic me diu in spem supremam captato criminatus est (De Ira, 3.34.2)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. quod non eodem loco turba contionis est, silentium solitudinis (De Ira, 3.35.2)
I am not clear about the grammar. Is “silentium solitudinis” the subj. of “est”? What about “turba contionis”?

Thank you.

Dear Robert,

1. In “…. inter voluptates est superesse quod speres…” (Seneca, De Ira, 3.31.3) the present infinitive  “superesse” is just the subj. of “est”, since the literal translation reads as follows:”…to survive /to still remain (superesse) what (quod, neuter relative pronoun) you hope (speres) is (est) among (inter) pleasures (voluptates)..”, i.e. :“…among the pleasures there is the fact that still remains something to hope for..”.

2. “Quanto risu prosequenda sunt quae nobis lacrimas educunt!“ (De Ira, 3.33.4) literally means:” With what (quanto) laughter (risu, ablative of manner) the things that (quae,neuter plural, subject of the passive periphrastic) bring out (educunt) tears (lacrimas) to us (nobis) are (sunt) to be accepted (prosequenda, neuter plural of the gerundive in the passive periphrastic)!”, i.e.: “With what laughter should we accept the things that draw tears from our eyes!”
Note that:
1)“lacrimas educunt” exactly means “bring tears out”.
2)“Thinking back, things we did then now must look laughable” is wrong, as you can see.

3. “….hic me diu in spem supremam captato criminatus est …”(De Ira, 3.34.2) literally means:”..  this one (hic) slandered  (criminatus est) me (me)  to the one who  has been  long courted ( diu…captato, dative singular, past participle used as a predicate participle)  in the highest expectation (in spem supremam) [of a  legacy.Note that  the idea of legacy is implied in the verb “captare”)”, i.e.:“this man slandered me to people whom I had long courted in the expectation of a legacy” (Basore).

In short, “hic ….criminatus est” is the main clause, while “captato” is the dative singular of the past participle depending on the deponent verb “criminor”.

4. In “….quod non eodem loco turba contionis est, silentium solitudinis?” (De Ira, 3.35.2) both “turba contionis” and  “silentium solitudinis” are the subj. of “est” which is in the singular because it can agree with one of the two subjects.
So, the sentence literally means:”…because (quod, introducing a causal clause) in the same place (eodem loco) there is  not (non…est) the crowd (turba) of a public assembly (contionis) [and ] the silence (silentium) of a desert (solitudinis)?”.

In short, Seneca wants to say that the head of the family must not call for the whip in the midst of dinner if his  slaves are talking, because in a room where there are many persons as in a public meeting cannot be, of course, the silence of a desert.

Best regards,


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