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

1. impudicum et incessus ostendit et manus mota … (LII.12)
Is “impudicum” the accu. of “impudicus” (adj.) used as a noun?

2. Tam ridicule facio, si hoc fine quasi bona valetudine delector, quam ille, quisquis vicisse se putat cum vadimonium distulit. (LIV. 3)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. nam verbis locus non erat (LIV. 6)
Is “locus esse” some kind of idiom?

4. sentio haesitationem quandam eius et moram (LIV. 6)
does “eius” refer to “spiritus” in the previous sentence, meaning “of breath”?

Thank you.

Dear Robert,

1.In “….impudicum et incessus ostendit et manus mota …” (Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, LII.12) “impudicum” is exactly the accusative of “impudicus” (adj.) used as a noun. It is the direct object of the verb “ostendit” whose  subjects are “incessus”,”manus”, ”responsum, “digitus”,” flexus”, so that “….impudicum et incessus ostendit et manus mota et unum interdum responsum et relatus ad caput digitus et flexus oculorum” literally means:
”…gait (incessus), the hand (manus) which was moving (mota, past participle agreeing with the nominative feminine singular “manus”), sometimes (interdum) a single (unum) answer (responsum), a finger (digitus ) which was touching ( relatus ad) the head (caput) and the movement (flexus) of the eyes (oculorum)  reveal (ostendit, in the singular as the verb agrees with the first subject "incessus") a lecherous man (impudicum)”, i.e. “….The lecherous man is revealed by his gait, by a movement of the hand, sometimes by a single answer, by his touching his head with a finger,by the shifting of his eye” (Gummere).

2. “Tam ridicule facio, si hoc fine quasi bona valetudine delector, quam ille, quisquis vicisse se putat, cum vadimonium distulit” (LIV. 3)literally means:
”I would act (facio, indicative which  is sometimes  used to denote a kind of condition.See AG 437a and 515) so (tam) ridiculously (ridicule), if ( si) I would enjoy (delector) this end/cessation (hoc fine, ablative depending on “delector”) [of illness, see LIV.2] just as (quasi) a good health (bona valetudine, abl.depending on “delector”) as (quam) every one who (ille quisquis) thinks (putat) that he (se) has won (vicisse) [a case] when (cum) he has postponed (distulit) [his] appearance in court (vadimonium)”, i.e.: “If I would enjoy this end of my illness as if I had recovered my health, I would act so ridiculously just as every one who thinks that he has won his case when he has succeeded in postponing his trial”.

3. In “….nam verbis locus non erat …”(LIV. 6) “locus esse”  is not a kind of idiom, as it liyerally means:”to be the place/the possibility/the opportunity”, so that “….nam verbis locus non erat …” literally means:”…in fact (nam) there was not (non erat) the place/opportunity (locus) for the words (verbis)”, i.e.:” ..there was not the possibility of speaking”  with reference to the shortness of breath of Seneca who however had never ceased to encourage himself silently, since he could not speak.

4. In “…sentio haesitationem quandam eius et moram…” (LIV. 6)  “eius” refers to “spiritus” in the previous sentence, meaning “of breath” with reference to the fact that the breath did not come and go normally and Seneca still felt a sort of hesitation and delay in breathing.

Best regards,


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