Latin/grammar

Advertisement


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

1. audio crepitum illisae manus umeris, quae prout plana pervenit aut concava, ita sonum mutat. (LVI.1)
Is “manus” gen., modifying “crepitum”? Is “quae” the subject of the verb “mutat” and “sonum” the object of “mutat”?

2. adice nunc eos qui in piscinam cum ingenti impulsae aquae sono salient (LVI.2)
Do all the three words “ingenti impulsae aquae” modify “sono”?

3. nulla placida est quies nisi qua ratio composuit (LVI.6)
What does “qua” mean?

4. Aspice illum cui somnus laxae domus silentio quaeritur (LVI.7)
Could you give a literal translation?

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

In “……audio crepitum illisae manus umeris, quae prout plana pervenit aut concava, ita sonum mutat….” (Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, LVI.1) the genitive singular “manus” depends on the accusative “crepitum”, while  the relative pronoun  “quae” in the nominative feminine referring to “manus” is  the subject of the verb “pervenit” as well as of the verb  “mutat” whereas  “sonum” is the direct object of “mutat”.
In short, “……audio crepitum illisae manus umeris, quae prout plana pervenit aut concava, ita sonum mutat….” literally means:
” …I hear (audio)  the noise (crepitum) of the hand (manus) which pummels (illisae, past participle of “illidere”, predicate agreeing with “manus”) on the shoulders (umeris, abl plural depending on “illisae”), [the hand] which (quae, referring to “manus”) proportionately as (prout, conjunction) it arrives (pervenit) flat (plana, nominative feminine as it refers to “manus”) or hollow (concava, nominative feminine as it refers to “manus”), this way  (ita) changes (mutat) [its] sound (sonum)…” , i.e. “…I hear the crack of the pummelling hand on his shoulder, varying in sound according as the hand is laid on flat or hollow” (Gummere).



2. In “….adice nunc eos qui in piscinam cum ingenti impulsae aquae sono salient” (LVI.2) the  genitive singular “ impulsae aquae” depends on the abl of  Accompaniment “cum ingenti…sono”, so that “….adice nunc eos qui in piscinam cum ingenti impulsae aquae sono salient” literally means: “ ..add (adice) now (nunc) those who (eos qui) plunge (salient) into  bathing pool (in piscinam) with (cum) great (ingenti) noise (sono) of  moved (impulsae) water (aquae)”.



3.In “….nulla placida est quies nisi qua ratio composuit”  (LVI.6) the relative pronoun  “ quā “ in the ablative feminine used as an adverb means “in so far as” so that the sentence literally means: ” …there is no placid  rest (nulla placida est quies) but (nisi) in so far as (quā)  reason (ratio)  has done (composuit) [it]”, just to say that there is no real rest save only the rest  which reason gives us.


4. Here’s the literal translation for “Aspice illum cui somnus laxae domus silentio quaeritur “(LVI.7): “ Look at (aspice) the one (illum) to whom (cui, dative) sleep (somnus, subject) is obtained /is procured (quaeritur) by  the silence (silentio, abl of Agent) of [his] spacious (laxae) house (domus)”.

Have a nice Sunday,

Maria

Latin

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.