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

1. et innocentem quisque se dicit respiciens testem, non conscientiam. (De Ira, book I, chapter 14, section 2)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. tollantur e coetu mortalium facturi peiora quae contingent (De Ira, book I, chapter 15, section 1)
“facturi peiora quae contingent” sounds like a conditional clause. But I don’t see such words as “si”

3. per tua alienaque volutato supplicia id quod unum tibi bonum superest repraesentabimus, mortem. (De Ira, book I, chapter 16, section 3)
Is “per tua alienaque volutato supplicia” abl. abs. with an implied subj. “tu”? In the quod-clause, which is the subj, “quod” or “unum bonum”?

4. Quare irascar cui cum maxime prosum? (De Ira, book I, chapter 16, section 3)
What is “irascar”?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the literal translation for “….et innocentem quisque se dicit respiciens testem, non conscientiam” (Seneca, De Ira, book I, chapter 14, section 2):”..and everybody (et quisque) calls/declares (dicit) himself (se) innocent (innocentem, Predicate Accusative referring to the direct object “se”. See AG 393) looking at (respiciens, attributive participle present, referring to the subject “quisque”) a witness (testem), not at [his] conscience  (non conscientiam)”, just to say that the one who calls himself innocent is looking more at a witness than at  his conscience.




2. In “….tollantur e coetu mortalium facturi peiora quae contingent" (De Ira, book I, chapter 15, section 1) “facturi peiora quae contingent”- literally meaning “those who are about to make  (facturi, first periphrastic) worse (peiora, neuter plural agreeing with the relative pronounin the neuter plural ”quae”) the things that (quae) they touch (contingunt)”- is not  a conditional clause, as you can see.

Note that  “facturi” (nominative masculine plural) is the subject of the hortatory subjunctive “tollantur” ( let be removed ) so that “..tollantur e coetu mortalium facturi peiora quae contingent” means:” Let be removed from human society those who are about to make  worse all that  they touch”.
In short, "tollantur e coetu mortalium facturi peiora"is the main clause with the hortatory subjunctive, while "quae contingent" is a subordinate relative clause.


3. In “….per tua alienaque volutato supplicia id quod unum tibi bonum superest repraesentabimus, mortem” (De Ira, book I, chapter 16, section 3)  “per tua alienaque volutato supplicia” is not an abl. absolute, since “volutato”  is  the dative of the  past participle of ‘volutare’, used as an attributive participle of “tibi” in “auferemus tibi”.

So, “..auferemus tibi istam qua vexas, vexaris insaniam et per tua alienaque volutato supplicia id quod unum tibi bonum superest repraesentabimus, mortem” literally means:
”… we will take  (auferemus) from you ( tibi) madness (insaniam) by which (qua, ablative) you harass (vexas) [others and ] you  [yourself] are harassed (vexaris, 2nd person singular, passive present)  and [to you (tibi)] who have  wallowed ( volutato, attributive participle agreeing with ”tibi” which is understood)  in your  suffering (per tua supplicia) and in those suffering of others (alienaque … [supplicia])  we will show (repraesentabimus) what/the thing that (id quod) is (superest/remains) the only (unum) good thing (bonum) for you (tibi), [i.e.] death (mortem)”.


As for the quod-clause “ quod unum tibi bonum superest”, the subject is “ quod” (which); the verb is “superest” (is/remains), while “unum…..bonum”  ( the only good thing) is the predicate, and “tibi” (for you) is the dative depending on “superest”.

In short, “..id quod unum tibi bonum superest repraesentabimus” means:” we will show  what is the only good thing for you”.
Note that in “id quod” the demonstrative pronoun “id” (neuter accusative)  is the direct object of “repraesentabimus”, while “quod”(neuter nominative) is the subject of “superest”.




4. In “Quare irascar cui cum maxime prosum? “ (De Ira, book I, chapter 16, section 3)
“irascar” (present subjunctive = should I be angry ) is a dubitative subjunctive which is used in questions implying  a doubt (See AG 444), so that “Quare irascar” means “Why should I be angry..?”

Best regards,

Maria

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