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

1. si aspexeris quantum nationibus nudis et inopia fortioribus labor praestet (book 1, chapter 4, section 13)
Is “labor” the subject? Could you give a literal translation? The case of some words are not clear to me.

2. Hoc est propositum deo quod sapienti viro (book 1, chapter 5, section 1)
What does “quod” mean here?

3. Vobis dedi bona certa, mansura, quanto magis uersauerit aliquis et undique inspexerit, meliora maioraque (book 1, chapter 6, section 5)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. Prono animam loco posui (book 1, chapter 6, section 7)
Couldn’t find the word “prono”

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “….si aspexeris quantum nationibus nudis et inopia fortioribus labor praestet…” (Seneca, De Providentia, book 1, chapter 4, section 13) “labor” is just the subject of the  indirect question clause “quantum… praestet”.
So, “….si aspexeris quantum nationibus nudis et inopia fortioribus labor praestet…” literally means:” …if you will have observed (si aspexeris, 2nd person singular, future perfect of “aspicio”) how much (quantum) toil (labor) offers (praestet, present subjunctive in the indirect question clause) to needy (nudis) and stronger (et ..fortioribus) because of their indigence (inopiā, ablative of cause) peoples (nationibus) “, i.e. :“….if you will consider how much toil offers to peoples that are destitute, but however have been made stronger by their poverty....”.


2.In “Hoc est propositum deo quod sapienti viro…” (book 1, chapter 5, section 1) the word  “quod” (nominative neuter singular, relative pronoun) refers to the antecedent demonstrative pronoun  “hoc” agreeing with “propositum” and  means “as well” , since "Hoc est propositum deo quod sapienti viro…” literally means:” this (hoc) is (est) the purpose(propositum) to God (deo, dative of Possession. See AG 373) as well as (quod) to the wise man (sapienti viro, dative of Possession.See AG 373)….”, i.e. “This is God's purpose, and the wise man's as well….”or "God and the wise man have the same purpose.." with reference to the fact that God and the wise man have the same intention.


3. “Vobis dedi bona certa, mansura, quanto magis uersauerit aliquis et undique inspexerit, meliora maioraque” (book 1, chapter 6, section 5) literally means:
”I gave (dedi) to you (vobis) true (certa) enduring (mansura, participle plural future active,  neuter accusative agreeing with “bona”) goods (bona)[that will be] better (meliora) and greater (maioraque) the more (quanto, abl of measure, + magis) anyone (aliquis) will have considered  (versaverit, verb 3rd sg future perfect ind act) [them] and will have viewed  (inspexerit)[them]  from every side (undique)”.


4. In “Prono animam loco posui”  (book 1, chapter 6, section 7) the word “prono” is simply the ablative masculine singular of the adjective “pronus” agreeing with “loco”, so that “Prono animam loco posui” means:”I have set (posui) life (animam, as “the vital principle, the breath of life”) on an inclined (prono) plane (loco)...”.

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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