Latin/grammar

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

1. sed ad voluptatem utilitatemve referantur.(III. 118)
What is the literal meaning of present subj. “referantur”?

2. Sed de hoc (magna enim res est) alio loco pluribus; nunc ad propositum.(III. 119)
Why abl. “pluribus”? Also, Miller’s translation “I have discussed more fully in another connection”, but I don’t see the word that implies completed action “have discussed”.

3. Cum vero intellexero te hoc scientiae genere gaudere, tum et praesens tecum propediem, ut spero, et dum aberis, absens loquar (III. 119)
Could you give a literal translation for the part starting with “tum et praesens …”?

Thank you very much for helping me read through the whole book.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “…. sed ad voluptatem utilitatemve referantur”(Cicero, De Officiis, III. 118) the literal meaning of present subjunctive  “referantur” (whose subjects are “bonitas”,”liberalitas“, “comitas” and “amicitia”) is “are ascribed/referred  to ….“, in the sense that neither goodness nor generosity nor courtesy as well as friendship can exist if they are connected with pleasure or personal advantage, instead of  being sought for themselves.


2. In “Sed de hoc (magna enim res est) alio loco pluribus; nunc ad propositum” (III. 119) the comparative ablative plural  “pluribus”, which implies the noun “verbis”, literally means “by means of/  through much more numerous”, so that “pluribus verbis” means “by means of/ through much more numerous words”.

As for the verb “I have discussed” in Miller’s translation, it corresponds to “dixi” which is understood. So, “Sed de hoc …… alio loco pluribus” literally  means:
”But (sed) [ I have discussed/ talked /(dixi) ] about (de) this (hoc)….. in another passage (alio loco) by means of much more numerous words (pluribus[verbis]”, i.e. " I have discussed more fully in another passage....".


3. Here’s the literal translation for the part starting with “tum et praesens …” in “Cum vero intellexero te hoc scientiae genere gaudere, tum et praesens tecum propediem, ut spero, et dum aberis, absens loquar” (III. 121):
” …….. I shall then talk (tum….loquar, future) with you (tecum) either (et, correlative) very soon (propediem) in person/face to face, being present  (praesens), as I hope (ut spero), or (et, correlative) at a distance/being absent (absens), as long as (dum)  you will be far away (aberis, future of absum).

Hope all is clear enough.

Glad to have helped you, all the best,

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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