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

1. quod ferae, sapientis quoque telum est, timeri. (De Ira, book II, chapter 11, section 2)
Could you translate this sentence?

2. in inmensam altitudinem mergi ac sine ulla respirandi vice perpeti maria. (De Ira, book II, chapter 12, section 4)
What is “vice”?

3. cui enim tandem vitio advocatus defuit? (De Ira, book II, chapter 13, section 1)
Could you translate this clause?

4. sanabilibus aegrotamus malis ipsaque nos in rectum genitos natura, si emendari uelimus, iuvat. (De Ira, book II, chapter 13, section 1)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.“…quod ferae, sapientis quoque telum est, timeri” (Seneca, De Ira, book II, chapter 11, section 2)  literally means:”To be feared (timeri),  which (quod) is [typical ] (est) of a wild beast (ferae), is (est) also (quoque) the weapon/ dard (telum) of the wise man (sapientis)”, i.e.:“The wild beast and the wise man have the same weapon: to be feared".


2. In the sentence:”…in immensam altitudinem mergi ac sine ulla respirandi vice perpeti maria" (De Ira, book II, chapter 12, section 4) the word “vice” is the ablative of a feminine noun which has only the gen.“vicis”, the acc. "vicem", the abl. "vice", the plur nom. "vicēs", the plural acc. "vicēs", the plural dat. and abl. "vicibus".

So, “vice”  means here “alternation/change/drawing” in the sense that someone has learned “to endure (perpeti, from 'perpetior')  the sea (maria, neuter plural) without (sine) any (ulla, abl.feminine agreeing with “vice”)  'change/alternation/ drawing' (vice, abl. depending on “sine”) of breathing (respirandi, gerund genitive).


3. “..cui enim tandem vitio advocatus defuit? “ (De Ira, book II, chapter 13, section 1) literally means:” for (enim) to what (cui, dative of the interrogative pronoun 'quis') vice (vitio) a  lawyer (advocatus) has been  absent (defuit, from 'desum' which takes the dative “cui ..vitio”) after all (tandem)?",i.e.: “…for  what vice, after all,  has ever lacked a lawyer?”.


4. Here’s the literal translation for “….sanabilibus aegrotamus malis ipsaque nos in rectum genitos natura, si emendari uelimus, iuvat” (De Ira, book II, chapter 13, section 1):
” …we suffer (aegrotamus) from curable ( sanabilibus) ills (malis, ablative of Cause) and nature (natura, nominative)  herself (ipsaque) helps (iuvat) us (nos) who have been begotten (genitos, past participle of 'gigno',plural accusative agreeing with “nos”) toward/for rectitude/ to do right (in rectum), if we want (velimus) to be improved/amended(emendari)”, i.e. "we suffer for curable ills and nature herself helps us who are born to do right, if we want to be improved".


Best regards,
Maria

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