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

1. At illa quae in propinquo est utique ventura desiderat lentam animi firmitatem (XXX. 8)
Is “utique” a single word or the “que” is enclitic?

2. Sed nunc supervacuum est naturae causam agere, quae non aliam voluit legem nostram esse quam suam (XXX.11)
Is “quae” relative pron, serving as the subject of “voluit” and referring to “natura”?

3. et quidem magis quam rogari solet vita (XXX. 12)
Is “vita” the subj. in the “quam”-clause and “solet” is the verb, meaning “life is wont to be begged”?   

4. qui sic crescebat illi (XXX. 13)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “At illa quae in propinquo est utique ventura desiderat lentam animi firmitatem..” (Seneca, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, XXX. 8)the adverb “utĭque” is a single word literally meaning “and therefore”, so that “At illa quae in propinquo est utĭque ventura desiderat lentam animi firmitatem ……” literally means:”But (at) that (illa) [death, i.e. mors] which (quae) is near (in propinquo est) and therefore (utique) [is] about to come (ventura, 1st periphrastic) requires (desiderat) a lasting (lentam) firmness ( firmitatem) of soul (animi)…”.
Note that originally “utĭque” was composed of “ut”, used as a particle of confirmation, and the enclitic “-que” with the vowel “-i-“ between “ut” and “-que”.
Later “utique” became an adverb and shifted its meaning to “certainly”/ “undoubtedly”.


2.In “Sed nunc supervacuum est naturae causam agere, quae non aliam voluit legem nostram esse quam suam…” (XXX.11),literally meaning:" But (sed) it is superfluous (supervacuum est)  at the present time(nunc)  to defend (agere) the cause of the nature(naturae causam) which (quae)wished (voluit) that  our law (legem nostram)  is (esse) not different (non aliam) from (quam)  her own (suam)..", the nominative feminine singular “quae” is exactly a  relative pronoun agreeing in gender and number with “natura” and  serving as the subject of “voluit” in the relative clause, as you say.


3. In “….et quidem magis quam rogari solet vita (XXX. 12) the nominative “vita” is just the subj. in the “quam”-clause and “solet” is the verb, meaning “life is wont to be begged”,  with reference to the fact that we see that certain men (quosdam) desire  (optantes, predicate participle) death (mortem) even more (et quidem magis) than (quam) life (vita) is wont (solet) to be begged (rogari)”.


4. Here’s the literal translation of “Fateor …ad hominem mihi carum…me….venisse, ut scirem, an illum totiens eundem invenirem, numquid cum corporis viribus minueretur animi vigor. Qui sic crescebat illi, quomodo manifestior notari solet agitatorum laetitia…”  (XXX. 13):
”I admit /confess (fateor) …that… I went (me…venisse) to a dear friend of mine/to a friend dear to me (ad hominem mihi carum), in order to know (ut scirem) whether (an) I find (invenirem) him (illum) every time (totiens) the same (eundem), and whether (numquid) [his] mental/rational soul’s (animi) strength (vigor) is diminishing (minueretur)  together with (cum) bodily/body’s (corporis)  powers (viribus).  Which (qui, referring to “vigor”) [strength]  was increasing/growing (crescebat) in/ to him (illi, dative singular depending on “crescebat) , just as / in the same manner  as (sic…quomodo, both correlatives) the joy (laetitia) of the charioteer (agitatorum) is wont (solet) to be seen (notary) more clearly (manifestior)…...”.

As you can see, “Qui sic crescebat illi…”(literally, “which was growing in him”) is a relative clause where the relative pronoun “qui” refers to the masculine noun “vigor” as antecedent.

Best regards,
Maria

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