Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. humanoque ignota vestigio regio (De Ira, 3.20.2)
Could you translate this phrase?

2. Hoc deinde omnem transtulit belli apparatum et tam diu adsedit operi, donec centum et octoginta cuniculis divisum alveum in trecentos et sexaginta rivos dispergeret, siccum relinqueret in diversum fluentibus aquis (De Ira, 3.21.3)
I am not clear about the case of some words in this sentence: “hoc”, “operi” “aquis”.

3. qui incumbentes regis tabernaculo faciebant, quod homines et periculosissime et libentissime faciunt, de rege suo male existimabant (De Ira, 3.22.2)
Is the following understanding correct? “quod homines et periculosissime et libentissime faciunt” is the obj. of “faciebant” and “de rege suo male existimabant” is a more detailed statement of the quod-clause, although grammatically I don’t know the function of the “de rege …” clause.

4. idque se negauit facturum fuisse, nisi expediret iis dominum habere (De Ira, 3.22.5)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.“….nec quicquam subministrabat sterilis humanoque ignota vestigio regio…” (Seneca, De Ira, 3.20.2) means: “ …nor (nec) the  unfruitful (sterilis, agreeing with the subject “regio”) and (-que) unknown (ignota, agreeing with “regio”) to human (humano-, dative) foot (vestigio, dative) country (regio, nominative case) furnished (subministrabat) anything (quicquam)..”, i.e.: “…nor  the country, barren and untrodden by the foot of man, furnished anything “ just in the sense that such  barren and uncultivated country did not furnish the army food supplies.


  
2.Note that in “Hoc deinde omnem transtulit belli apparatum et tam diu adsedit operi, donec centum et octoginta cuniculis divisum alveum in trecentos et sexaginta rivos dispergeret, siccum relinqueret in diversum fluentibus aquis.. “(De Ira, 3.21.3) the word “hoc” is the old form of the adverb  of motion “huc” meaning “to this place”; the dative “operi” (from “opus”) depends on “adsedit” so that “adsedit operi” means “he devoted [himself] (adsedit) to [this] work (operi)“; lastly, the ablative “aquis” is part of the ablative absolute “fluentibus aquis” meaning “ the waters (aquis) flowing (fluentibus) “.

In short, “Hoc deinde omnem transtulit belli apparatum et tam diu adsedit operi, donec centum et octoginta cuniculis divisum alveum in trecentos et sexaginta rivos dispergeret, siccum relinqueret in diversum fluentibus aquis “ literally means:
”He then  transferred (deinde…transtulit) to this place (hoc) the whole (omnem) machinery (apparatum)  of war (belli) and so long (tam diu) he devoted [himself] (adsedit) to [this] work (operi) until (donec) he dispersed (dispergeret) into (in) three hundred and sixty (trecentos et sexaginta)  rivulets (rivos) the riverbed (alveum) which had been divided  (divisum, predicate participle agreeing with “alveum”) in one hundred and eighty (centum et octoginta ) canals  (cuniculis) [and] he left (relinqueret, depending on “donec”) it (i.e. “alveum”) dry/without water (siccum), the waters (aquis) flowing (fluentibus) in different directions (in diversum)”, i.e.:
"He then  transferred to this place the whole machinery of war and so long he devoted himself to this work until he dispersed  into three hundred and sixty  rivulets the riverbed which had been divided  in one hundred and eighty canals and he left it without water, since the waters were flowing in different directions”.

As you can see, Seneca says that Cyrus, just to punish the Gyndes river  which  being in flood had carried away his retinue, reduced  it  into a dry riverbed so that that even women could cross it on foot (De Ira, 3.21.2).



3. In “…qui incumbentes regis tabernaculo faciebant, quod homines et periculosissime et libentissime faciunt, de rege suo male existimabant “(De Ira, 3.22.2)  the relative clause “quod homines et periculosissime et libentissime faciunt” is the obj. of “faciebant” and “de rege suo male existimabant” is a more detailed statement of the quod-clause.

As for the function of the “de rege …” clause, note that it implies the expression “id est” after “faciunt, that is to say “they  did (faciebant) …..what (quod) men (homines) do (faciunt) either  (et) very dangerously (periculosissime) or (et) very willingly(libentissime),i.e.: ".. [id est] they spoke ill (male existimabant) of [their] king (de rege, ablative of reference/relation)”.

In short,“…qui incumbentes regis tabernaculo faciebant, quod homines et periculosissime et libentissime faciunt, de rege suo male existimabant “ means:"...who while they were near the royal tent did what men do with equally great danger and delight, that is to say that they spoke ill of their king..".




4.”….. idque se negauit facturum fuisse, nisi expediret iis dominum habere” (De Ira, 3.22.5) literally means:”.... and (-que) he (i.e. Antigonus) denied (negavit) that he (se) would have done ( facturum fuisse ) it (id), if  to have (habere, infinitive used as a subject) a master (dominum)  wasn't useful (expediret) to them (iis)…”, just to say that Antigonus, when he had subdued some Greeks who had derided his ugliness, disposed that  those who were fit for military service were assigned to regiments; the rest he put up at auction, saying that he would not have done so, if he  didn't think that men, who had such an evil tongue, deserved to have a master.

Best regards,

Maria

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.