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

1.ira vanis et extra causam obversantibus commovetur.(De Ira, book I, chapter 18, section 2)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. saepe infesta patrono reum damnat(De Ira, book I, chapter 18, section 2)
Is “infesta patrono” abl. abs.? Is “patrono” dat.?

3. his inest latens et operta et inveterata calliditas(De Ira, book I, chapter 19, section 6)
I’m a bit confused about the accu. case of “calliditas”. The dictionary says “insum” is used with dat.

4. quos volet nequitiae male cedentis exempla fieri, palam occidet, non tantum ut pereant ipsi, sed ut alios pereundo deterreant(De Ira, book I, chapter 19, section 7)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.Here’s the literal translation for “….ira vanis et extra causam obversantibus commovetur” (Seneca, De Ira, book I, chapter 18, section 2): “…anger (iră, nominative) is moved (commovetur) by trifling things (vanis [rebus]) that  lie outside (obversantibus, present participle agreeing with the implied “rebus”)  the case/lawsuit (et extra causam) “, i.e.:”…. anger is moved by trifling data that often digress from  the trial at issue”, just to emphasize that reason considers nothing except the question at issue, while  anger is moved by trifling data that often digress from  the trial at issue.


2. In “….saepe infesta patrono reum damnat…” (De Ira, book I, chapter 18, section 2) “infesta patrono” cannot be an ablative absolute simply because the adjective “infesta” is in the feminine, while the noun  “patrono” is in the masculine.  
That being stated,  “infestă ” (nominative feminine agreeing with the noun “ira” which appears in the previous phrase ) refers to anger, and “patrono” is just a dative depending on “infesta”, so that “….saepe infesta patrono reum damnat…” literally means:”.. often (saepe) [anger] [ira] hostile (infesta)  to the lawyer (patrono) condemns (damnat)  the accused (reum) “, just to mean that anger often condemns the accused because it dislikes his lawyer.



3. In “….his inest latens et operta et inveterata calliditas…” (De Ira, book I, chapter 19, section 6) the feminine noun  “calliditas” (3rd declension) is not an accusative, but a nominative as it is the subject of the verb “inest”(3rd person singular, present indicative of  “insum” which takes the dative “his”).
So, “…his inest latens et operta et inveterata calliditas” literally means:” …in these (his) [crimes. See the previous “scelera”] there is (inest) a secret (latens) and hidden (et operta) and long-practised (et inveterata) cunning (calliditas)”, just to point out that sometimes he who is free from anger (see “quisquis vacuus ira”, 1.19.5) will punish  great crimes (magna scelera) less ruthlessly (levius, literally, "more indulgently")) than small ones (quam minora), if these crimes hide a secret and inveterate cunning.




4. Here’s the literal translation for “….quos volet nequitiae male cedentis exempla fieri, palam occidet, non tantum ut pereant ipsi, sed ut alios pereundo deterreant” (De Ira, book I, chapter 19, section 7): “….he (i.e. “quisquis vacuus ira”,”) will openly kill ( palam occidet)  those whom (quos) he will want (volet, future of “volo”, I want) to become (fieri) examples (exempla) of the one who erroneously yields ( male cedentis, adverb + present participle in the genitive singular) to wickedness (nequitiae, dative singular), not so much (non tantum)  in order  that  (ut, introducing a final clause) they themselves (ipsi) die (pereant), but in order  that (sed ut) by dying (pereundo, gerund ablative  of means, from  “pereo”) they  deter (deterreant) others (alios) “, i.e. :” …. he will publicly kill those whom he wants to serve as examples of the bad result of  wickedness, not so much in order that they themselves may be killed as in order that they may deter others from wickedness by the example of their death”.



Best regards,

Maria

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