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Question
Dear Maria,
Could you please help me with the following (all from De Ira):

1. ruinis simillima, quae super id quod oppressere franguntur. (De Ira, book III, chapter 1, section 2)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. Non vides ut omnium animalium, simul ad nocendum insurrexerunt, praecurrant notae . (De Ira, book III, chapter 1, section 5)
Why gen. case for “omnium animalium”?

3. Spumant apris ora, (De Ira, book III, chapter 1, section 6)
Why is “apris” in abl.?

4. dentes acuuntur attritu, (De Ira, book III, chapter 1, section 6)
Is “attritu” the abl. of p.p., (abl. of means)? Is this use of p.p. described in A&G? I like to read a little more.

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.“….est …..ruinis simillima, quae super id quod oppressere franguntur” (Seneca, De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 2) literally means:”…it is …very similar (simillima, superlative in the nominative feminine singular referring to “brevis  insania”, temporary madness, i.e. “ira”, anger) to the ruins (ruinis, dative plural) that (quae) break into pieces/are shattered in pieces (franguntur) on (super) what (id quod, direct object depending on “oppressēre”)  they crushed (oppressēre, verb 3rd pl perf ind act contracted, used instead of “oppresserunt” agreeing with “quae”, i.e. “ruins”).

In short, anger as a temporary madness is very similar  to those ruins that  break into pieces on what  they crushed.


2. In “Non vides ut omnium animalium, simul ad nocendum insurrexerunt, praecurrant notae….?“ (De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 5) the gen. case “omnium animalium” depends on “notae” which is the subject of the subordinate clause “ut ….praecurrant”.

So, “Non vides ut omnium animalium, simul ad nocendum insurrexerunt, praecurrant notae…?” literally means:” Do you not see (Non vides)  how (ut) signs/ premonitory signs (notae, nominative plural of “nota”) of all animals (omnium animalium) precede (praecurrant) [iram/anger] as soon as (simul) they get/got ready (insurrexerunt) to harm/to assail (ad nocendum)...?”



3. In “Spumant apris ora,….” (De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 6) “apris” is not an ablative, but a dative plural depending on “spumant”, so that “Spumant apris ora,….”  literally  means:” The mouths (ora, subject, nominative plural of  the neuter noun “os”, “oris”) foam (spumant) to the wild boars (apris, dative plural of “aper”)”,i.e. “Wild boars are foaming at the mouth...”


4. In “….dentes acuuntur attritu…” (De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 6)  the word “attritu” is the abl. of  the noun “attritus” (4th declension) so that “….dentes acuuntur attritu…” literally means:” …[Their] teeth/tusks are sharpened (acuuntur) by the rubbing (attritu, ablative of agent/instrument depending on the passive verb “acuuntur”)”, i.e.: “Wild boars tusks are sharpened by friction..”. just to indicate that wild boars grind their teeth to sharpen them.

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

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