Latin/grammar

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

1. veniet iterum qui nos in lucem reponat dies, quem multi recusarent nisi oblitos reduceret. (XXXVI. 10)
The grammer of “oblitos” is not clear. Is “quem” (dies) also the obj. of “reduceret”?

2. Turpe est non ire sed ferri, et subito in medio turbine rerum stupentem quaerere (XXXVII. 5)
Could you explain the case of the three words “turbine rerum stupentem”?

3. disputationes praeparatae et effusae audiente populo plus habent strepitus … (XXXVIII. 1)
Is “audiente populo” abl. of manner for “effusae”?

4. qui notorem dat ignotus est (XXXVIX. 1)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “…..veniet iterum qui nos in lucem reponat dies, quem multi recusarent nisi oblitos reduceret” (Seneca, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, XXXVI. 10) the relative pronoun  “quem” (accusative masculine singular, referring to “dies” ) is the object of “recusarent”, not  of “reduceret” whose subject is the implied “dies”, while the object is “oblitos”.

Please note that  “…veniet iterum qui nos in lucem reponat dies, quem multi recusarent nisi oblitos reduceret” literally means:
”…the day/time (dies, subject of “veniet”) will return (veniet) again (iterum) which (qui, subject of the relative clause, agreeing with “dies”) shall take us back  (nos…reponat) to the light [of day ] (in lucem), [that day] which (quem, object of “recusarent. This relative refers to “dies”) many men (multi) would reject (recusarent), if it (i.e. “dies”, the time/day) not brought back [to the life] (nisi reduceret, referring to the implied subject “dies”) [themselves, implied “se”]  being forgetful [of the past] (oblitos, past participle used as a an adjective referring to the implied object “se”= "themselves") .

In short, Seneca says that death  interrupts life, but does not steal it away ( see."..mors …..intermittit vitam, non eripit) and  there will be a  day which  will take us back to the life/the light of day, but many men would reject it, if that day not brought back  themselves to the life in forgetfulness of the past life, for most people  would like to live again, only if their past has been forgotten.


2. In “ Turpe est non ire sed ferri, et subito in medio turbine rerum stupentem quaerere: " Huc ego quemadmodum veni?" (XXXVII. 5),  the noun “turbine” is an ablative of Place Where which goes with the preposition “in” and the adjective “medio” literally meaning “middle” and then “ in the middle of”; “rerum”, depending on “turbine” is the genitive plural of “res”; the accusative singular “stupentem” is a present participle used as an adjective which is in the accusative because it refers to the infinitive “quaerere” and the infinitive in Latin takes its subject or predicate in the accusative case (See AG 455).

Here’s the literal translation of “Turpe est non ire sed ferri, et subito in medio turbine rerum stupentem quaerere: " Huc ego quemadmodum veni?”:
”It is shameful (turpe est ) not (non)  to proceed ahead ( ire), but (sed) to be dragged / carried along (ferri), and suddenly (subito, adverb), in the middle of (in medio, agreeing with the ablative “turbine” ) the whirlpool (turbine) of  things / events (rerum, genitive plural) to ask (quaerere, present infinitive which acts as the subject of “Turpe est”, just like the infinitives “ire” and “ferri”) astonished (stupentem, present participle used as predicate adjective in the accusative because it refers to an infinitive): “How (quemadmodum) did I get (veni) here?(huc)" .



3. In “Disputationes praeparatae et effusae audiente populo plus habent strepitus … “(XXXVIII. 1) “audiente populo” is not an abl. of manner, but an ablative absolute literally meaning “a multitude/crowd  hearing”, i.e. “in the presence of a large group of people who is listening ”.

So, “Disputationes praeparatae et effusae audiente populo plus habent strepitus, minus familiaritatis. …” literally means:
”Prepared beforehand (praeparatae) discussions (disputations) and spouted (effusae) in the presence of a  large group of people who is listening(audiente populo) have (habent)  more (plus) noise (strepitus, genitive partitive depending on “plus”), [but] less (minus) intimacy (familiaritatis, genitive partitive depending on “minus”)”.


4. “…qui notorem dat ignotus est …” (XXXIX. 1) literally means:”…he who (qui) furnishes (dat) a witness (notorem, accusative of "notor") [for his statements] is (est) unknown (ignotus)” just to say that Lucilius must not ask Seneca for this author or that author (Tu a me non est quod illum aut illum exigas) because he who furnishes a witness for his statements is  a complete unknown, since he needs to base his statements on other people's renown.


Best regards,
Maria

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