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Dear Maria,
Can you help me with the following? They are all from Seneca’s Epistles.

1. et generosum illum contemptoremque omnis potentiae spiritum non emisit sed eiecit. (XXIV. 8)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. qui contrario in Africam vento relatus cum teneri navem suam vidisset ab hostibus, (XXIV. 9)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. et fatalem Scipionibus in Africa gloriam non est interrumpi passa. (XXIV. 10)
What is “passa”?

4. Securus itaque inimici minas audi (XXIV. 12)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.“…et generosum illum contemptoremque omnis potentiae spiritum non emisit sed eiecit” (Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, XXIV. 8) literally means:”…and he did not exhale/dismiss(et…non emisit) but expelled (sed eiecit)that (illum)  noble (generosum) soul (spiritum) and  defiant (contemptoremque) of all (omnis) power (potentiae)...”, with reference to the fact that Cato the Younger, the enemy of Caesar, who after being defeated at the battle of Thapsus (46 BC), committed suicide at Utica, in Tunisia: hence his appellation “Uticensis” .

Seneca points out that Cato Uticensis, furious  not only with Caesar but also with himself, stuck  his bare hands into his wound, and expelled, rather than dismissed, his noble soul which had been so defiant of all power that he has  preferred to commit suicide rather than to surrender to Caesar.



2. “….qui contrario in Africam vento relatus cum teneri navem suam vidisset ab hostibus,…”(XXIV. 9) literally means: “…[Scipio, the father-in-law of Gnaeus Pompeius]...who, having been driven back (relatus, past participle) to Africa (in Africam) by a headwind (contrario...vento), having  seen (cum vidisset)that his ship (navem suam)was controlled (teneri) by the enemies (ab hostibus)...", i.e. :"...“…[Scipio]who, having been driven back to Africa by a ​wind ​blowing in the ​opposite ​direction,and having  seen  his ship in the power of the enemy...".


3.In “Vox haec illum parem maioribus fecit  et fatalem Scipionibus in Africa gloriam non est interrumpi passa.” (XXIV. 10) the past participle “passa” goes with "est", so that " est...passa" is the past indicative of the deponent verb "patior" in the nominative feminine agreeing with the feminine noun "vox" which is the subject of the sentence which literally means:”This (haec) sentence (vox)made (fecit) him (illum) equal ( parem) to [his] ancestors (maioribus) and did not suffer (non est...passa)that the glory (gloriam) given by the fate (fatalem) to the Scipios (Scipionibus) in Africa (in Africa)was interrupted /lost its continuity(interrumpi, passive  present infinitive )".
 
Note that "vox " refers to the sentence " Imperator....se bene habet" which appears in the previous chapter where Scipio, the father-in-law of Gnaeus Pompeius, after he pierced his body with a sword, said to those who asked where the commander was :"All is well with the commander" and imperturbably faced certain death.



4. Here's the literal translation for "Securus itaque inimici minas audi" (XXIV.12):
"Therefore (itaque)listen (audi, 2nd person singular, present imperative of "audio")fearless (securus, nominative masculine singular referring to Lucilius)to the  threats (minas) of the enemy (inimici)".
In short, Seneca says to Lucilius that death is so little to be feared that he can hear unconcernedly any menace of an enemy.

Best regards,
Maria  

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