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Question
I have this sentence from Plutarch's "How a Young Man Ought to Hear Poems", 21E5 given I think in its original wording in ancient Greek. I know its translation in English. Is it possible to paraphrase it in Latin giving me short syntax guidance?
Thanks a lot. The passage is the following:
"τοὺς μὲν φαύλους ζῆν τοῦ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα, τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν"

Answer
Hello,

First of all I have to tell you that “τοὺς μὲν φαύλους ζῆν τοῦ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα, τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν”, that we read in Plutarch, Moralia, “Quomodo adulescens poetas audire debeat” 21 e, just meaning “How a Young Man Ought to Hear Poems”, is an object-clause with the subject (τοὺς μὲν φαύλους and τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς) in the accusative and the verbs (ζῆν after φαύλους  and ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν before ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν ) in the infinitive mood, since in Ancient Greek, as well as in Latin, the object-clauses require the subject in the accusative and the verb in the infinitive mood.

Such an object-clause “τοὺς μὲν φαύλους ζῆν τοῦ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα, τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν” depends, in fact, on the main clause Σωκράτης…….ἔλεγε,  meaning “Socrates  said that…”.

Therefore Σωκράτης……ἔλεγε τοὺς μὲν φαύλους ζῆν τοῦ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα, τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν “, meaning "Socrates… said that mediocre  men live to eat  and drink, whereas good men eat and drink to live",  translates into Latin as follows:

-“Socrates … dicebat mediocres homines ad edendum vivere ac bibendum, bonos contra viros ad vivendum  edere ac bibere “(literally, “Socrates… said that mediocre  men live to eat  and drink, whereas good men eat and drink to live”.


If however you want  the object-clause τοὺς μὲν φαύλους ζῆν τοῦ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα, τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν to be translated into Latin as an independent clause, where the infinitives become present indicative (see "vivunt" and " edunt ac bibunt") and the accusative cases become nominative (see for example "boni viri"), you must say as follows:

-“Mediocres homines ad edendum vivunt ac bibendum, boni contra viri ad vivendum  edunt ac bibunt“ (literally,” Mediocre  men live to eat  and drink, whereas good men eat and drink to live”).


Lastly, here’s the syntactic/grammatical analysis of the Latin translations “Socrates …. dicebat mediocres homines ad edendum vivere  ac bibendum, bonos contra viros ad vivendum  edere ac bibere” and “Mediocres homines ad edendum vivunt ac bibendum, boni contra viri ad vivendum  edunt ac bibunt”, respectively:

-Σωκράτης/ SOCRATES  (subject, nominative case, 3rd declension) = Socrates

-ἔλεγε /DICEBAT (3rd person singular, imperfect indicative of DICO) = said that

-τοὺς μὲν φαύλους  / MEDIOCRES HOMINES  (accusative masculine plural of the adjective MEDIOCRIS agreeing with HOMINES which is the subject of the object-clause in the  accusative plural of HOMO) = mediocre men

-τοῦ ἐσθίειν.. ἕνεκα / AD EDENDUM   ( gerund accusative of EDO) = to eat  

-ζῆν /VIVERE (infinitive present of VIVO) = live

-καὶ /AC =and

-πίνειν ἕνεκα /BIBENDUM ( gerund accusative of BIBO) = to drink

-τοὺς δ' ἀγαθοὺς / BONOS CONTRA VIROS (accusative masculine plural of the adjective BONUS agreeing with VIROS which is the subject of the object-clause, accusative plural of VIR, 2nd declension) = good men

-ἕνεκα τοῦ ζῆν/ AD VIVENDUM ( gerund accusative) = to live

-ἐσθίειν / EDERE  (verb of the object-clause, present infinitive of EDO) = eat

-καὶ /AC = and

-πίνειν /BIBERE (verb of the object-clause, present infinitive of BIBO) = drink

________________________________________________________________________________
INDEPENDENT CLAUSE

-MEDIOCRES (nominative, masculine plural of the adjective MEDIOCRIS agreeing with HOMINES) = mediocre

-HOMINES (subject of the independent clause, nominative case of HOMO, 3rd declension)= men

-AD EDENDUM (gerund accusative of EDO) = to eat  

-VIVUNT (verb of the independent clause, 3rd person plural, present indicative of VIVO) = live

-AC = and

-BIBENDUM (gerund accusative of BIBO) = to drink

-BONI (nominative masculine plural of the adjective BONUS agreeing with VIRI) = good

-CONTRA = whereas

-VIRI (subject, nominative plural of VIR, 2nd declension) = men

-AD VIVENDUM (gerund accusative) = to live

-EDUNT  (3rd person plural, present indicative of  EDO) = eat

-AC = and

-BIBUNT (3rd person plural, present indicative of BIBO) = drink

Note that MEDIOCRES HOMINES is either a nominative plural or an accusative plural in the 3rd declension.

Also note that Latin word order can be different from English because Latin is an inflected Language where grammatical relationships are indicated by the ending of the words, not by their order.

Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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