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

1.Opem laturum te naufragis, captis, aegris, egentibus, intentae securi subiectum praestantibus caput pollicitus es (XLVIII. 8)
Could you give a literal translation?

2. quam acerba et implicita eorum, qui opinioni plus quam naturae crediderun (XLVIII.9)
What does “eorum” refer to?

3. Hoc tibi, cum voles, manifestissimum faciam, comminui et debilitari generosam indolem in istas argutias coniectam. (XLVIII.9)
Is the part starting with “comminui …” the accu. + infinitive structure?

4. contra fortunam militaturis quae porrigant tela (XLVIII.10)
Is this the order for translation: Quae [interrogative pronoun] tela [n. pl. accu.] porrigant [illis] militaturis [dat.] contra fortunam.

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.”Opem laturum te naufragis, captis, aegris, egentibus, intentae securi subiectum praestantibus caput pollicitus es…” (Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, XLVIII. 8) literally means:” You have promised (pollicitus es) that you (te, subject of the infinitive/object-clause) would give (laturum [esse])help (opem) to the shipwrecked persons/to the castaways (naufragis, dative depending on “opem laturum [esse]), to the  prisoners (captis), the sick (aegris), the  poor/those who are poor (egentibus, present participle) , and those who are exposing (praestantibus, present participle)[their] head (caput) which is subject (subiectum, past participle agreeing with “caput”) to the poised (intentae, agreeing with the dative “securi”) axe (securi, dative of the feminine noun  “securis”)”, i.e.:“You have promised to help those in peril by sea, those in captivity, the sick and the needy, and those whose heads are under the poised axe” (Gummere)


2. In “….quam acerba et implicita eorum, qui opinioni plus quam naturae crediderunt…” (XLVIII.9) the plural masculine genitive “eorum” (literally, “of those ..”)refers to the nominative masculine plural relative pronoun “qui” whose predicate verb is “crediderunt”.
In short, the indirect question clause “quam acerba et implicita eorum”, depending on the imperative “Dic” at the beginning of the section 9, is followed by the relative clause “qui opinioni plus quam naturae crediderunt” so that “Dic…quam iucunda sit vita,…. quam acerba et implicita eorum, qui opinioni plus quam naturae crediderunt “ literally means:
”…[Tell /Dic] ….. how (quam)  pleasant (iucunda) life (vita) is (sit) ….., how (quam) bitter (acerba) and perplexed/complicated  (et implicita) [is life ] of those (eorum)  who (qui) trusted (crediderunt)  in opinion(opinioni, dative depending on “crediderunt”)  rather than (plus quam) in nature (naturae, dative depending on “crediderunt”)”.



3.In “ Hoc tibi, cum voles, manifestissimum faciam, comminui et debilitari generosam indolem in istas argutias coniectam”  (XLVIII.9) the part starting with the passive infinitive present “comminui …” is just the accu. + infinitive structure, i.e. the object-clause depending on “Hoc…manifestissimum faciam” as “Hoc tibi, cum voles, manifestissimum faciam, comminui et debilitari generosam indolem in istas argutias coniectam” literally means:
” When you wish (cum voles, where Latin uses the  future “voles”, from “volo”), I will make (faciam, another future) perfectly clear ( manifestissimum) to you (tibi) this thing (hoc), that  a noble ( generosam) temperament(indolem) which is involved (coniectam, past participle agreeing with “indolem”) in such subtleties (in istas argutias) is enervated (comminui, present infinitive, passive voice) and weakened (et debilitari, passive, present infinitive)”.


4. In “…contra fortunam militaturis quae porrigant tela..” (XLVIII.10) the order for translation is : Quae [interrogative adjective agreeing with “tela”] tela [n. pl. accu.] porrigant militaturis [dat., participle future] contra fortunam”.
So, “Pudet dicere, contra fortunam militaturis quae porrigant tela “ literally means:
”I'm  ashamed (pudet, impersonal verb of feeling ) to say (dicere) what (quae, neuter plural agreeing with "tela") weapons (tela) they supply (porrigant) to those who are about to fight (militaturis, future participle used to express what is  about to happen) against (contra) fortune /destiny/fate(fortunam)…”

Best,
Maria

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