Latin/grammar

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

1. inflantur inritatis colla serpentibus (De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 6)
The case of some words is not clear to me.

2. nusquam tamen nascitur nisi ubi rationi locus est (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 4)
Why dat. “rationi”?

3. Non est quod credas illi qui dicit (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 5)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. Tota illorum ut extra ita intra forma humanae dissimilis est (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 7)
Is “tota” here an adj., modifying “forma”? From the meaning of the sentence, "tota" seems more like an adv. "wholly".

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In  “…..inflantur inritatis colla serpentibus…” (Seneca, De Ira, book I, chapter 1, section 6) the neuter plural “colla” (the necks)  is the nominative case (subject); the passive present indicative verb “inflantur” ( are puffed up) is the predicate agreeing with “colla”; the past participle, dative plural  “inritatis” (enraged, from “irrito”) is used as an adjective and agrees with the dative plural  “serpentibus” (to the snakes).

In short, “....inflantur inritatis colla serpentibus…” literally means:”the necks are puffed up to the enraged snakes”, just to say that snakes puff up their necks when they are angry.


2. In “….nusquam tamen nascitur nisi ubi rationi locus est…” (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 4) the  dat. “rationi” depends on “locus est”, so that “…[ira] nusquam tamen nascitur nisi ubi rationi locus est…” literally means:”…[anger (ira)] however (tamen) is born (nascitur) nowhere/ in no place but (nisi) where (ubi) there is  (est) a place (locus) for reason (rationi)…”.

In short, Seneca says that all animals, except man, are not subject to anger, as they have impulses, madness, fierceness, aggressiveness, but not anger that is born  only where there is the power of reason.


3. Here’s the literal translation for :”Non est quod credas illi qui dicit” (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 5): “There is no reason to (non est quod + the subjunctive) believe (credas, you believe) the one (illi, dative depending on "credas") who (qui) says (dicit) …”, with reference to Ovid who in his Metamorphoses, book 7, lines 545-546, says that the wild boar does not remember (non...meminit) his rage, the stag [does not remember] to trust his speed and even the bear [does not remember ]to fight the strong herd.( Non aper irasci meminit, non fidere cursu cerva nec armentis incurrere fortibus ursi.)

Note that “Est quod + the subjunctive” means “ there is reason to..”



4. In “ Tota illorum ut extra ita intra forma humanae dissimilis est (De Ira, book I, chapter 3, section 7) the feminine adjective  “tota” modifies “forma”, so that “Tota illorum ut extra ita intra forma humanae dissimilis est” literally means: ”Their (illorum, i.e. of the animals)  whole (tota) form/ appearance (forma) like (ut, correlative of “ita”)  outward  (extra) so (ita) inward (intra) is different (dissimilis est) from the human(humanae, genitive depending on "dissimilis") form [formae] “.

In short, the whole  outward and inward form of the animals is different from the human form, that is to say :“As their outward form is wholly different from that of man, so is their inner  nature” where the translator has used the best way to express this concept in English:hence the adverb "wholly" instead of the adjective "whole".


Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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