Latin/grammar

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

1. Non alia quam in ludo gladiatorio vita est cum isdem viventium pugnantiumque (De Ira, book II, chapter 8, section 2)
1. Is “alia” an adj. or adv.?
2. What is the subj. of the present participles “viventium” and “pugnantium”?

2. Numquid enim singuli aut pauci rupere legem? (De Ira, book II, chapter 9, section 1)
I have a feeling that “rupere” is related to “rumpo”, but the spelling confuses me.

3. Quid enim si quis irascatur in tenebris parum vestigia certa ponentibus? (De Ira, book II, chapter 10, section 1)
What does “certa” mean here?

4. Primum ira, si quantum minatur valet, (De Ira, book II, chapter 11, section 1)
Could you translate the si-clause?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Non alia quam in ludo gladiatorio vita est cum isdem viventium pugnantiumque” (Seneca, De Ira, book II, chapter 8, section 2) the word “alia” meaning “different” is a feminine adjective agreeing with “vita”, while the subject  of the present participles “viventium” and “pugnantium” is “vita”, since the literal translation for “Non alia quam in ludo gladiatorio vita est cum isdem viventium pugnantiumque” is the following:
”Not different (non alia) than (quam) in a gladiatorial school (in ludo gladiatorio) is (est) vita (life) of those who live (viventium) and fight (pugnantiumque) with (cum) the same [persons] (isdem, ablative of company)”, i.e.: “Life is not different from the life  of those who live and fight  each other  in a gladiatorial school “,  with reference to the gladiators who were forced to fight against their own companions with whom they lived.


2. In “Numquid enim singuli aut pauci rupere legem?” (De Ira, book II, chapter 9, section 2) “rupere” is related to “rumpo”, as it is the  3rd plural person,  perfect  indicative,  contracted form of “rupērunt”, so that the sentence literally means:
”Did so (numquid,adverb interrog.; enim)  single persons (singuli, nominative plural) or (aut) few persons (pauci, nominative plural) break (rupēre= “did …break) the law (legem)?”, i.e. :“For is it only the single man or the few who break the law?”



3.In “Quid enim si quis irascatur in tenebris parum vestigia certa ponentibus? (De Ira, book II, chapter 10, section 1) the neuter plural accusative adjective “certa” which is preceded by the adverb “parum”  (not enough ) and agrees with “vestigia” (steps)  means “certain/sure”.

In short, “Quid enim si quis irascatur in tenebris parum vestigia certa ponentibus?” literally means:”What (quid) in fact (enim) [could I say] if somebody (si quis) gets angry (irascar) with those who make  (ponentibus, present participle, dative depending on “irascar”) not enough certain (parum certa) steps (vestigia) in the darkness (in tenebris)?”, i.e.: “What about somebody who gets angry with those who move with uncertain step in the darkness?”



4. In “Primum ira, si quantum minatur valet, …”(De Ira, book II, chapter 11, section 1) the si-clause means:”Firstly (primum)  if (si)  anger (ira) has strength (valet) as much as (quantum) it threatens (minatur) …”.

Best regards,

Maria

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Maria

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I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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