Latin/grammar

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

1. novem revertisse dicit re a senatu non impertrata; (III. 113)
Is “re a senatu non impertrata” abl. abs.?

2. Atqui ab Aristippo Cyrenaici atque Annicerii philosophi nominate … (III. 116)
Could you give a literal translation? I’m a bit confused about the case of those names.

3. Nam si non modo utilitas, sed vita omnis beata corporis firma constitutione eiusque constitutionis spe explorata, continetur (III. 117)
Does “explorata” modify “spe”? Also does “continetur” followed by dat. mean “depend on”?  

4. Quamvis enim multis locis dicat Epicurus, sicuti dicit, satis fortiter de dolore, tamen non id spectandum est, quid dicat, sed quid consentaneum sit ei dicere, … (III. 117)
(a)A bit confused about “dicat” and “sicuti dicit”.
(b)Is “id” the antecedent of “quid”?

Thank you,
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “...novem revertisse dicit re a senatu non impetrata;…” (Cicero, De Officiis, III. 113)  “re .... non impetrata” is an ablative  absolute literally meaning:” the thing (re) having not been obtained (non impetrata, past participle of "impetro") from the senate (a senatu, depending on "impetro")”, with reference to the fact that those nine did not obtain the exchange of Carthaginian prisoners from the Roman senate and then returned to the Carthaginian camp, just as they were sworn.



2. “Atqui ab Aristippo Cyrenaici atque Annicerii philosophi nominati omne bonum in voluptate posuerunt..” (III. 116) literally means:”Anyway (atqui) the Cyrenaics (Cyrenaici, nominative plural) [so called ] from Aristippus [of Cyrene ](ab Aristippo), and the philosophers (atque…philosophi, nominative plural) called (nominati)  Annicerii (Annicerii, nominative plural)  placed (posuerunt) all good (omne bonum) in pleasure (in voluptate)…”.

Note that “Cyrenaici”(the Cyrenaics) were so called from Aristippus of Cyrene, while the “Annicerii” were  so called from its founder Anniceris. Both “Cyrenaici” and “Annicerii” are the subjects of the verb “posuerunt”.


3. In “Nam si non modo utilitas, sed vita omnis beata corporis firma constitutione eiusque constitutionis spe explorata,….. continetur..” (III. 117) the past participle , ablative case, “explorata” modifies the ablative “spe”, as both the ablatives  “explorata” and “spe” depend on “continetur” since the verb “contineo” takes the ablative, so that “continetur” means “is contained “ an “explorata spe” means “in the reasonable / confirmed expectation/hope”.

So, here’s the literal translation of the above passage:
”For (nam), if (si) not only (non modo) expedience (utilitas), but (sed) the whole (omnis) happy (beata)  life (vita) is contained (continetur) in a strong (firma) constitution (constitutione) of body (corporis) and  (-que) in the confirmed (explorata)  hope (spe) of  such (eius-) [strong] constitution (constitutionis)….. ” with reference to the reasonable expectation that such a strong constitution  will always remain sound.



4. Note that in “Quamvis enim multis locis dicat Epicurus, sicuti dicit, satis fortiter de dolore, tamen non id spectandum est, quid dicat, sed quid consentaneum sit ei dicere, qui bona voluptate terminaverit, mala dolore.” (III. 117):

(a)the present subjunctive “dicat” depends on the conjunction  “quamvis” meaning “although”, whereas  “sicuti dicit” means “just as he says/ as he really says”  in confirmation of the previous sentence

(b)the neuter “id” is  the antecedent of “quid”.

In short, “Quamvis enim multis locis dicat Epicurus, sicuti dicit, satis fortiter de dolore, tamen non id spectandum est, quid dicat, sed quid consentaneum sit ei dicere qui bona voluptate terminaverit, mala dolore.…” literally means:
”For (enim) although (quamvis) in many passages (multis locis) Epicurus talks ( dicat),  just as (sicuti) he talks(dicit), quite (satis) strongly (fortiter)about (de)pain (dolore), nevertheless it is to be considered /we must consider (spectandum est, passive perifrastic) not (non) what (id…quid) he says (dicat), but (sed) what (id..quid) is consistent ( consentaneum sit) to say (dicere) for the one (ei) who (qui) has  circumscribed (terminaverit) the good (bona, accusative neuter plural, literally “the good things”) to pleasure (voluptate, ablative depending on “terminare”) and evil ( mala, accusative neuter plural , literally, “the bad things”) to pain (dolore)” with reference to those who who have defined the good in terms of pleasure and evil in terms of pain.

Best regards,

Maria

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