Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. eos autem quibus indulgere videtur, quibus parcere, molles uenturis malis seruat  (book 1, chapter 4, section 7)
Could you give a literal translation for “eos … molles uenturis malis servat”?

2. Idem dicant quicumque iubentur pati timidis ignauisque flebilia  (book 1, chapter 4, section 8)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. digni uisi sumus deo in quibus experiretur quantum humana natura posset pati.  (book 1, chapter 4, section 8)
What does “in quibus experiretur” mean?

4. perseverent vulnera praebere vulneribus (book 1, chapter 4, section 11)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1. In “…… eos autem quibus indulgere videtur, quibus parcere, molles venturis malis servat “ (Seneca, De Providentia, book 1, chapter 4, section 7) the passage “eos autem quibus indulgere videtur ……… molles venturis malis servat” literally means:” those (eos, direct object of “servat”) however (autem) whom (quibus, dative depending on “indulgere) he (i.e. “deus”, god) seems (videtur)  to favour (indulgere)  he keeps (servat) susceptible (molles, predicate adjective) to ills (malis) which are about to come (venturis, active periphrastic)”, i.e.:“God  keeps susceptible to  future ills just those  whom however he seems to favour…. “,  since God wants to test their endurance.


2. Here’s the literal translation for “Idem dicant quicumque iubentur pati timidis ignavisque flebilia  (book 1, chapter 4, section 8): “The same thing (idem, direct object of “dicant”) may say (dicant, hortatory subjunctive) all that (quicumque, nominative plural, subject of “dicant” and “iubentur”) are called/forced (iubentur) to suffer (pati) the things that brings tears (flebilia, neuter plural of the adjective “flebilis”) to the fearful (timidis, dative plural) and the cowards( ignavisque)”.
In short, everyone who is suffering what usually scares the cowards should say that God has deemed him worthy of discovering how much human nature can endure.



3. In “Digni visi sumus deo in quibus experiretur quantum humana natura posset pati (book 1, chapter 4, section 8)the passage “Digni visi sumus deo in quibus experiretur” literally means:”We seemed (visi sumus, personal construction of “videor”) to god (deo) [to be] worthy (digni) in whom (in quibus, referring to “digni visi sumus”) could be tested (experiretur) how much (quantum)  human nature (human nature) can (posset) endure (pati)", i.e.: “God has deemed us worthy of discovering in ourselves how much human nature can endure”


4. Here’s the literal translation for “Ipsi illos patres adhortantur, ut….…perseverent vulnera praebere vulneribus (book 1, chapter 4, section 11):” …their own fathers (ipsi patres, i.e. “the Spartan  fathers”) exhort (adhortantur) them (illos, i.e.”their children”) to keep (ut perseverent) offering ( praebere) [ their] wounds (vulnera)  to wounds (vulneribus)” just to point out that the Spartan fathers exhorted their children to keep offering their wounded bodies to other wounds so that children  test their endurance.

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.