Latin/grammar

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

1. ut facienda suadeat cupiditatemque honesti et aequi conciliet animis faciatque uitiorum odium, pretium virtutium (De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. ut nemo pereat nisi quem perire etiam pereuntis intersit (De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3)
What is the grammatical role of “quem”?

3. quod illi quibus uitam non potuerunt largiri facilem exitum praestant (De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3)
Is “eos”[patients] understood before “quibus”?

4. Commota enim semel et excussa mens ei seruit quo inpellitur (De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3)
Does “quo” mean “by which [ei]”? Also is “mens” the understood subject of “impellitur” in the “quo” clause?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the literal translation for “….. ut facienda suadeat cupiditatemque honesti et aequi conciliet animis faciatque uitiorum odium, pretium virtutium (Seneca, De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3): “…so that (ut) he (i.e. the ruler of the state)   may persuade (suadeat) [men to do] those things that  must  to be done (facienda, passive periphrastic in the neuter plural) and may  instil (et… conciliet) a desire (cupiditatem) for/of  the honourable (honesti, genitive of the neuter noun “honestum”) and the just (et aequi, genitive of the neuter noun “aequum”)  into the hearts (animis) and  may procure (faciatque) hatred ( odium) of vices (vitiorum)  and esteem (pretium)  of virtues (virtutum)”.


2. In “….ut nemo pereat nisi quem perire etiam pereuntis intersit “(De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 3) the accusative masculine “quem”,  which stands for the indefinite pronoun  “aliquem” as it is preceded by “nisi”, is the subject of the infinitive “perire” in the object clause depending on “intersit”.

In short, “….ut nemo pereat nisi quem perire etiam pereuntis intersit “ literally means:”…so that (ut) nobody (nemo) dies/ is executed (pereat) unless (nisi) [the fact] that someone (quem, i.e. aliquem) is executed (perire) is of interest (intersit, present subjunctive of “interest”) even (etiam) of the one who dies /is executed (pereuntis, present participle in the genitive depending on the impersonal verb “interest” which takes the genitive)”.

In short, Seneca says that extreme punishment must be appointed only to extreme crime, so that nobody  must be executed unless it is of interest even of the condemned person to  perish, in the sense that  the one who has committed a crime deserves exemplary punishment, as this is  of his own interest as well as of society, since capital punishment prevents  him from committing other crimes.


3. In “….quod illi quibus uitam non potuerunt largiri facilem exitum praestant…. “(De Ira, book I, chapter 6, section 4)  it is not “eos” that is   understood before “quibus”, but , if anything,  the dative plural “illis” which is in the same case as “quibus” and then must not be expressed.

In short, “Hoc uno medentibus erit dissimilis , quod illi quibus uitam non potuerunt largiri facilem exitum praestant…” literally means:” In this  only one thing (hoc uno) he (i.e. the the ruler of the state)  will be different (erit dissimilis)  from the physicians (medentibus, present participle meaning “those who heal”), for (quod) those (illi, i.e. the physicians )  give (praestant) an easy exit [from life] (facilem exitum) to  those [patients] (illis, understood) to whom (quibus) they  could not (non potuerunt)  concede (largiri) life (vitam)…”.


4. In “Commota enim semel et excussa mens ei seruit quo inpellitur” (De Ira, book I, chapter 7, section 3)  “quo” means “by which “;   “mens” is the subject of  “servit” as well as of  “impellitur” in the “quo” clause.
So,  “Commota enim semel et excussa mens ei seruit quo inpellitur” literally means:” For (enim) once (semel) the mind (mens) has been aroused (commota [est] )and shaken (et excussa [est]) , it [mens] is enslaved/serves (servit) to the thing (i.e. passion/ desire) (ei) by which (quo) is impelled/ urged (impellitur)”,  just to point out that once the mind has been aroused and shaken by the  passions, it becomes the slave of passions and loses its rationality.

Best regards,

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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