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

1.Ne viperas quidem et natrices et si qua morsu aut ictu nocent (De Ira, 2.31.8)
The word “si” in “si (ali)qua …” clause seems to mean “or”, at least according to the translation by Basore. Can “si” mean “or”?

2. Nam si puniendus est cuicumque pravum maleficumque ingenium est, (De Ira, 2.31.8)
“cuicumque” is the subj of the 2nd periphrastic conj. But it also seems to introduce a relative clause and “est” is the verb of the relative clause. Seems something is not right with my understanding.

3. M. Catonem ignorans in balineo quidam percussit inprudens (De Ira, 2.32.2)
Is “Catonem” the obj. of “ignorans” or “percussit”?

4. rogante patre ut salutem sibi filii concederet (De Ira, 2.33.3)
Is this abl. abs.? Also, does “sibi” refer to the father?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “Ne viperas quidem et natrices et si qua morsu aut ictu nocent, effligeremus,..….” (Seneca, De Ira, 2.31.8) the conjunction  “si” in “si (ali)qua …” clause  means “if”, not “or”, though in English it is better to translate it as “or”, according to the translation by  John W.Basore.
Anyway the literal translation would be :”We would not crush/kill (effligeremus)  even (ne…quidem) the vipers (viperas) and  water-snakes (et natrices) and (et) [any other creatures] even if (si) any other (qua/aliqua, nominative neuter plural which implies “animalia”) [creatures (animalia)] harm (nocent) by bite (morsu) or (aut) thrust/sting…”.
As you can see, the “si (ali)qua …nocent” clause  suggests and presupposes a preceding direct object, i.e. “any other creatures” (aliqua animalia) , which is understood in Latin, as it is implied in the “si (ali)qua …nocent” clause.


2. In “Nam si puniendus est cuicumque pravum maleficumque ingenium est,…” (De Ira, 2.31.8)
“cuicumque” is not the subject of the 2nd periphrastic “puniendus est”, but the Dative of Possession of the indefinite pronoun “quicumque” depending on the verb “est”.
In short, the dative “cuicumque” presupposes a preceding subject of the passive periphrastic “puniendus est” whose implied subject would be “quicumque”(nominative)  followed by “cui”(dative of the relative pronoun), since the subject “quicumque” is implied in the dative “cuicumque”.
So, here’s the literal translation of “Nam si puniendus est cuicumque pravum maleficumque ingenium est,…”:” For (nam) if (si) [every one (quicumque)] to whom (cui) is (est, with dative of Possession) an evil (pravum) and depraved(maleficumque)   nature (ingenium) must be punished (puniendus est)…”, i.e.:”For  if every one who has a morally bad nature  must be punished…”.



3. In “M. Catonem ignorans in balineo quidam percussit inprudens…” (De Ira, 2.32.2) the accusative  “Catonem” is the direct object  of  both “ignorans” and “percussit” as the sentence literally means:” In a public bath (in balineo) a certain man (quidam) not knowing (ignorans) Marcus Cato (M.Catonem) struck  (percussit) Marcus Cato (M.Catonem) inconsiderately (imprudens, adjective used as an adverb)..”, i.e. “ ..In a public bath a certain man, not knowing Marcus Cato, struck him unwittingly..”.
Note that most editors consider “ignorans” as  a gloss on “imprudens”, i.e. a kind of an explanation for “imprudens”.


4. In “…rogante patre ut salutem sibi filii concederet…” (De Ira, 2.33.3) “rogante patre” is  an ablative absolute literally  meaning:” the father (patre)  begging   (rogante) that (ut)..”, i.e. “when the father begged that…”.
As for the dative “sibi”, it refers to the father as “ut salutem sibi filii concederet” literally means:” that he (i.e. the emperor Gaius Caesar Caligula)  offers (concederet)  to himself (sibi) the salvation (salutem) of [his] son (filii)…”, i.e.:  “..that the emperor spares his son's life..”
To sum up, “rogante patre ut salutem sibi filii concederet..” means:”…the emperor, when the father begged that his son's life might be spared…”.

Best regards,

Maria

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