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Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following (all from Seneca, de Providentia):

1. felix est L. Sulla quod illi descendenti ad forum gladio summouetur (book 1, chapter 3, section 8)
Why dat. “illi descendenti” and what does it mean?

2. in perpetuam vigiliam suspensa sunt lumina (book 1, chapter 3, section 9)
Could you give a literal translation for “suspensa sunt lumina”?

3. Feliciorem ergo tu Maecenatem putas, cui amoribus anxio et morosae uxoris cotidiana repudia deflenti somnus per symphoniarum cantum ex longinquo lene resonantium quaeritur? (book 1, chapter 3, section 10)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. multum inter falsum ac verum mediae caliginis fundit (book 1, chapter 4, section 10)
Couldn’t find the word “mediae”.

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Felix est L. Sulla quod illi descendenti ad forum gladio summouetur...? (Seneca, De Providentia, book 1, chapter 3, section 8) the dative “illi descendenti”, literally meaning “to him who is descending”, depends on the impersonal form  “summovetur” meaning:”room is made” just to remove people standing in the way.

So, “Felix est L. Sulla quod illi descendenti ad forum gladio summouetur…..?”literally means:
”Is L. Sulla happy (Felix est L.Sulla) because (quod) to him (illi) who is descending(descendenti, present participle, used as an attributive participle) to the forum (ad forum) room is made (summovetur,impersonal, passive present indicative) by the sword (gladio)….?”, i.e.:“Is Lucius Sulla happy because his way is cleared by the sword when he descends to the forum…?”



2.The sentence “…. in perpetuam vigiliam suspensa sunt lumina” (book 1, chapter 3, section 9) literally means:”…[his] eyes (lumina) are (sunt) opened wide (suspensa) in an eternal wakefulness(in perpetuam vigiliam)”, with reference to Regulus wide-open eyes in an eternal sleeplessness, during his torture to death.



3. Here’s the literal translation for “Feliciorem ergo tu Maecenatem putas, cui amoribus anxio et morosae uxoris cotidiana repudia deflenti somnus per symphoniarum cantum ex longinquo lene resonantium quaeritur?” (book 1, chapter 3, section 10):
”Do you, then, consider (ergo…putas)  Maecenas  (Maecenatem) a happier (feliciorem) [man], to whom (cui, referring to “Maecenatem”)troubled (anxio, adjective in the dative referring to “cui”) by [his] loves (amoribus) and (et) grieving over (deflenti, present participle of “defleo”, dative case agreeing with “cui”) the daily (cotidiana, agreeing with “repudia”, accusative neuter plural) repulses (repudia,accusative plural of “repudium”, direct object depending on "deflenti") of his  wayward (morosae) wife (uxoris) the sleep (somnus, subject  of “quaeritur)  is acquired/got (quaeritur) through (per) a melodious sound (cantum)of symphonies (symphoniarum) echoing (resonantium, present participle agreeing with “symphoniarum”) gently (lene, adverb) from afar (ex longinquo)”, i.e.:
“Do you, then, consider Maecenas a happier man, who troubled by love and  grieving over the daily repulses of his wayward wife, falls asleep only by means of melodious sound of  harmonies, that echo softly from afar?”.


4.In ".... multum inter falsum ac verum mediae caliginis fundit" (book 1, chapter 4, section 10) the word “mediae” is the genitive feminine singular of the adjective “medius” agreeing with “caliginis”.
So, “….. multum inter falsum ac verum mediae caliginis fundit” literally means:
”….it (i.e. “intemperantia felicitatis”, excess of good fortune) sheds (fundit) a great part (multum) of a deep (mediae) fog (caliginis, Partitive genitive, See AG § 346)  between (inter) falsehood (falsum) and truth (ac verum)”, i.e.:" ...excess of good fortune sheds a lot of deep fog between falsehood and truth..".

Best regards,

Maria

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