Latin/grammar

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

1. Conscientiae satis fiat (De Ira, 3.41.1)
Does “satis facere” and “satis fieri” have the same meaning?

2. sed simul aequalitas vitae fidem fecit non segnitiem illam animi esse sed pacem, veneratur illos populus idem colitque (De Ira, 3.41.2)
Could you give a literal translation of the sentence?

3. iam par acerrimum media mors dirimet. Quid tumultuamur et vitam seditiosi conturbamus? (De Ira, 3.42.3 and 4)
Could you give a literal translation of the sentence?

4. Quid illum oblatrantem tibi … (De Ira, 3.43.1)
I suppose the word “oblatrantem” (pres. participle, accu.) comes from “oblatro”, but couldn’t find it in the dictionary.

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Conscientiae satis fiat…” (Seneca, De Ira, 3.41.1) the active voice  “satis facere” has not the same meaning as the passive voice  “satis fieri” in the sense that  “Conscientiae satis fiat…” literally means:” Enough (satis, adverb  )may / let be done (fiat, hortatory subjunctive in the impersonal  passive construction) for [our] conscience (conscientiae, dative depending on “satis fiat”…”, i.e. : “Let us satisfy our conscience..….” just to say that we must have a clear conscience without concerning ourselves as to  what others say about  our reputation,  provided that we really have a clear conscience (See De Ira, 3.41.2: “Sequatur vel mala [fama] , dum bene merentis” meaning :”Let even a bad name attend us, provided that we are really well-deserving”, in Basore's translation)


2. “….sed simul aequalitas vitae fidem fecit non segnitiem illam animi esse sed pacem, veneratur illos populus idem colitque“ (De Ira, 3.41.2) literally means:” …but (sed)  as soon as (simul) the  consistency (aequalitas) of [their] life (vitae) has given confidence /has proved ( fidem fecit) that such [consistency](illam, referring to "aequalitas))  is  (esse) not (non) inaction (segnitiem) of mind (animi), but (sed) peace (pacem) [of mind], the same (idem) people (populus) reveres (veneratur) and (-que)  respects (colit) them (illos, i.e. those who are quiet )”  in the sense that usually populace admires the bold (audaces), whereas quiet people (placidi) are considered ineffective, but when the consistency of life of quiet people proves that such a consistency is not inaction, but peace of mind, even populace respects and honors those who are quiet.


3. Here’s the literal translation of “…. iam par acerrimum media mors dirimet. Quid tumultuamur et vitam seditiosi conturbamus?” (De Ira, 3.42.3 and 4): “…..soon (iam) death (mors) which is in the middle (media, adjective in the nominative feminine agreeing with “mors”)will separate (dirimet) the fiercest (acerrimum)  couple (par, neuter substantive, accusative,direct object) [of fighters]. Why (quid) do we be in uproar (tumultuamur, deponent verb) and perturb (conturbamus)life (vitam)  [being]seditious (seditiosi,adjective in the  nominative plural related to the 1st person plural of the verbs "tumultuamur" and "conturbamus"”, “i.e.: “…soon death will step in and part the fiercest pair of fighters.Why do we run riot and perturb life with our uproar”(Basore).

In short, Seneca wants to say that rivalries and hostilities are useless because soon death will come and separate even the  fiercest pair of fighters. Therefore it's useless to be seditious and factious.


4. In “Quid illum oblatrantem tibi …” (De Ira, 3.43.1) the word “oblatrantem” (present participle, accusative) comes  just from the verb “oblatro”, as you can see in Lewis & Short "A Latin Dictionary"   at
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=oblatrantem&la=la&can=oblatrantem0&p

Best regards,
Maria

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Maria

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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