Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. Cuius autem vita ipsi potest utilis esse, cum eius vitae ea condicio sit, ut …? (III. 85)
Is the order or translation of “cum eius vitae ea condicio sit, ut …” is: “cum eius vitae condicio [the condition for his life] sit [is] ea, ut … [“ea, ut …” means “such that …”]?

2. Quamquam id quidem cum saepe alias, tum Pyrrhi bello a C. Fabricio consule iterum et a senatu nostro iudicatum est (III. 86)
Could you give a literal translation? I couldn’t arrive at Walter Miller’s translation.

3. sed magnum dedecus et flagitium, quicum laudis certamen fuisset, eum non virtute, sed scelere superatum.(III. 86)
Are there two words understood: “est” ater “flagitium” and “esse” ater “superatum [esse]” as part of the inf. clause?

4. Non necesse putat Diogenes, Antipater viri boni existimat. (III. 91)
Does the second part of the sentence go like this: “Antipater existimat viri boni [debeant dicere]” (Is it correct to say “Antipater existimat necesse esse viri boni dicere”? (I meant to say “Antipater thinks that it is necessary for good men to tell.”

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Cuius autem vita ipsi potest utilis esse, cum eius vitae ea condicio sit, ut…? “(Cicero, De Officiis, III. 85) the order and translation of “cum eius vitae ea condicio sit, ut …”   is the following: “Autem (but ) cuius (whose) vita (life) potest (can)  esse (be) utilis (useful)  ipsi (to himself),  cum  (when)  condicio (the condition)  eius  (of that, as "eius" is used as a demonstrative adjective rather than as a possessive) vitae  (life) sit (is) ea (such), ut ( that …)…?”; i.e. “But whose life can be useful to himself, when the condition of  that life is  such that…?”



2. “Quamquam id quidem cum saepe alias, tum Pyrrhi bello a C. Fabricio consule iterum et a senatu nostro iudicatum est”( III. 86)  literally means:
”On the other hand (quamquam) just (quidem) this  [concept] (id, referring to the antecedent “…nihil esse utile, quod non honestum sit” meaning “nothing can be useful that is not morally right”) has been decided  /has been confirmed (iudicatum est) as /not only (cum, correlative of “tum”) often (saepe) at other times/occasions (alias, adverb), but also/so especially (tum, correlative of “cum”) in the war  (bello) of/ with Pyrrhus (Pyrrhi)  by Gaius Fabricius (a C.Fabricio)  [who was ] consul (consule, in apposition to C.Fabricio)  a second time (iterum) and by our senate (et a senatu nostro”, i.e.:
“On the other hand this very concept [i.e. the fact that nothing can be useful that is not morally right] has been confirmed not only at other times and occasions, but also in the war with Pyrrhus by Gaius Fabricius, in his second consulship, and by our senate”.


3. In ”…. sed magnum dedecus et flagitium, quicum laudis certamen fuisset, eum non virtute, sed scelere superatum” (III. 86)  the verb which refers to the two subjects “dedecus et flagitium” is “fuisset” which also refers  to the relative clause  “quicum laudis certamen”.

As for the infinitive clause “eum non virtute, sed scelere superatum [esse]”, it depends on “magnum dedecus et flagitium…fuisset”.

In short, here’s the literal translation:” but (sed) it would have been (fuisset)  a great (magnum)  dishonor (dedecus)  and shame  (et flagitium) the fact that the one (eum, subject of the infinitive clause) with whom (quicum, which stands for “quocum/cum quo)  there was (fuisset) a contest (certamen) for/of glory (laudis, genitive) was defeated not (non) by valour (virtute),but by crime (scelere)..."



4. In “ Non necesse putat Diogenes, Antipater viri boni existimat” (III. 91) the second part of the sentence goes like this: “Antipater existimat [id esse] viri boni ” literally meaning:
”Antipater thinks (Antipater existimat ) that this is [id esse] the part of /the duty  of a good man (viri boni, Possessive genitive.See AG 343 c )”.

So, “Qui vinum fugiens vendat sciens, debeatne dicere. Non necesse putat Diogenes, Antipater viri boni existimat”  literally means:
”The one who (qui) knowingly (sciens, nominative masculine,present participle as an attributive ) sells (vendat) a bad  wine /wine which is spoiling  (vinum fugiens, where "fugiens" is a neuter agreeing with "vinum")), ought he (debeatne)to tell it( dicere)? Diogenes thinks (putat)that it is not necessary(non necesse [esse], Antipater thinks [putat]  that this is  a duty of an honest man (viri boni)“.

Note that the indirect question clause “debeatne dicere” refers to  the sixth book of Hecaton's "Moral Duties" which has been quoted before (section 89)  and is full of such questions on moral duties.

Best regards,

Maria  

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.