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

1. sequiturque vertigo praerupta cernentis (De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 1)
Why not dat. “cernenti” (to the person who looks down the cliff”?

2. inde est quod adridemus ridentibus (De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 5)
Could you give a literal translation?
non magis quam timor, qui Hannibale post Cannas moenia circumsidente lectorum percurrit animos, sed omnia ista motus sunt animorum moueri nolentium, nec adfectus sed principia proludentia adfectibus. (De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 5)
Could you give a literal translation of this sentence?

3. Putavit se aliquis laesum (De Ira, book II, chapter 3, section 4)
Is “aliquis” the subj. of putavit?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “….sequiturque vertigo praerupta cernentis (Seneca, De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 1)the genitive singular  “cernentis”  in “praerupta cernentis” depends on the nominative  “vertigo”, whose verb is “sequitur”, so that the sentence literally  means :”..and (-que) a dizziness (vertigo) of the person who looks at (cernentis, genitive singular, present participle of “cernere”) steep places (praerupta, accusative neuter plural. See “praerupta,praeruptorum”) follows (sequitur)”, i.e. "...dizziness which overcomes the one who looks at a cliff" or "...when one looks at a precipice, dizziness follows".

Seneca, in fact, is listing a series of sensations that do not result from our  volition and then are uncontrolled, as e.g. dizziness which overcomes the one who looks at a cliff.


2. Here’s the literal translation for “…inde est quod adridemus ridentibus” (De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 5): “….hence (inde) there is (est)  the reason why (quod; note that "est quod" is an idiomatic construction) we smile (adridemus) on  those who smile (ridentibus, present participle, dative plural depending on the verb “adrideo/rideo”, I smile)”, with reference to the fact that  we usually smile when others smile.



3.”Quae non sunt irae……..non magis quam timor, qui Hannibale post Cannas moenia circumsidente lectorum percurrit animos, sed omnia ista motus sunt animorum moveri nolentium, nec adfectus sed principia proludentia adfectibus.” (De Ira, book II, chapter 2, section 5) literally means:
”Such things/sensations  (quae, which refers to the previous sentence) are not anger (non sunt irae)…..  no more (non magis) than (quam) [it is] fear (timor) [that sensation] which (qui) pervades (percurrit) the minds (animos) of the readers (lectorum) when Hannibal after Cannae besieges the walls of Rome (“Hannibale….circumsidente”, abl.abs.; “moenia”, acc.depending on “circumsidente”;” post Cannas”, i.e. after the battle of Cannae), but (sed) all (omnia) these  things/sensations (ista) are (sunt) emotions (motus) of the  minds (animorum) which do not want (nolentium , present participle of “nolo”; genitive plural agreeing with “animorum”) to be affected (moveri (present infinitive passive), nor (nec) [they are] passions (adfectus), but (sed) the beginnings (principia)  that prepare (proludentia, neuter plural agreeing with “principia”, present participle) for  passions (adfectibus (dative plural depending on “preludentia” from “preludere”.

In short, Seneca says that  such sensations are no more anger than that is fear the sentiment that one  feels when he reads how Hannibal after Cannae was besieging the walls of Rome. They are all emotions of a mind that however would like not to be so affected; they are not passions, but simply the beginnings that are preliminary to passions.



4. In "Putavit se aliquis laesum..." (De Ira, book II, chapter 3, section 4)the indefinite pronoun  “aliquis” is just the subj. of "putavit", so that the sentence literally means: "Somebody (aliquis) thought/has thought (putavit)  himself (se) injured (laesum)..."

Best regards,

Maria

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