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

1. sed hoc ipsum pars erit irae super solita saeuientis (De Ira, 3.19.1)
Does “super solita saeuientis” modify “irae”?

2. homo misericors luctu liberavit (De Ira, 3.19.5)
Is “homo” the subj. of liberavit? Does “misericors” (adj.) modify “homo”?

3. Tale aliquid passi forent (De Ira, 3.20.2)
I thought “tale aliquid” is sing. but “passi forent [essent]” is pl.

4. per invia, per arentia trahebat omnem bello utilem turbam. (De Ira, 3.20.2)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.

Dear Robert,

1.In “…..sed hoc ipsum pars erit irae super solita saeuientis ..” (Seneca, De Ira, 3.19.1) “super solita saeuientis” modifies “irae” in the sense that the present participle “saevientis” agrees with the genitive “irae” so that “….sed hoc ipsum pars erit irae super solita saeuientis” literally means:” …but (sed) this very thing (hoc ipsum) will be (erit) a part/element (pars) of anger (irae) which is cruel (saevientis) beyond (super)  the usual things (solita)”, i.e. “…but this digression is part of our discourse on anger which often becomes cruel beyond measure”.

2. In “….homo misericors luctu liberavit!” (De Ira, 3.19.5) the nominative  “homo” is  the subj. of “liberavit”, while the adjective  “misericors”  modifies  “homo” so that the sentence literally means:”…the merciful  man (homo misericors, i.e. the emperor Gaius Caligula, who is sarcastically called "misericors") freed (liberavit) [patres .. occisorum, the fathers of the executed men] from [their] mourning!”.

It is obvious that Seneca wants to say sarcastically that Caligula, after he had killed some men, sent  officers to the homes of his victims and gave order to kill their fathers too, in order to  free them from their grief over the death of their sons, just out of human pity!!  

3. In “Tale aliquid passi forent et Aethiopes,…..” (De Ira, 3.20.2), literally meaning:” The Ethiopians (Aethiopes) too (et) might have suffered (passi forent, which stands for “passi essent”) something (aliquid) similar (tale)…”, the  neuter singular “tale aliquid”  is  the direct object of the verb “passi forent” [i.e. passi essent]” which is plural simply because it refers to the subject “Aethiopes”.

In short, Seneca says that the Ethiopians too might also have suffered the same  fate as a whole population of Syria whose noses were cut off by order of a king of the Persians.

4. Here’s the literal translation of “… per invia, per arentia trahebat omnem bello utilem turbam” (De Ira, 3.20.2): “ He (Cambyses) dragged (trahebat) the whole (omnem) troop (turbam) useful (utilem) to war (bello, dative depending on “utilem”) through (per) impassable places (invia, neuter plural noun ),  through (per) arid places (arentia, neuter plural participle of “areo”)”.
In short, Seneca says that Cambyses was dragging his whole host of fighting men through  trackless and desert regions, after  the Ethiopians did not surrender to him, so that he became enraged against them whom he punished with the cut of the nose.

Best regards,



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