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

1. ut ubicumque infesti aliquid orietur, illic parata praesidia sint (LIX.7)
Why is the noun in “parata praesidia” abl but dat in “pugnae paratum” (previous sentence)? The dictionary says “paratus” requires abl.

2. Quemadmodum autem potest aliquis quantum satis sit adversus vitia discere, qui quantum a vitiis vacat discit? (LIX. 10)
Could you give a literal translation?

3. sagitta ictus diu persedere et incepta agere perseveravit. (LIX.12)
Could you give a literal translation?

4. quis cibo debeat esse, quis potioni modus (LIX.13)
The case of “cibo” and “potion” not clear.

Thank you.
Robert

Answer
Dear Robert,

1.In “…. ut ubicumque infesti aliquid orietur, illic parata praesidia sint”(Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium, LIX.7),literally meaning:”…so that (ut) wherever (ubicumque) something (aliquid) hostile/dangerous (infesti, genitive depending on “aliquid”) will arise (orietur), there (illic) troops/soldiers (praesidia, subject in the nominative neuter plural) are (sint) ready (parata) [to help/to defend]…”,the past participle “parata” (neuter plural agreeing with the subject “praesidia”)is used as an adjective so that “parata…sint” means “are ready” as in e.g. “Estote parati” meaning “Be ready”.
As you can see,in “parata praesidia” there is no ablative, but simply a nominative plural (praesidia) and an adjective (parata) which is the Predicate Adjective of the verb "sum" which  is called the Copula (i.e. the connective.See AG 272).  

As for  “pugnae paratum” (previous sentence) where the past participle/adjective “paratus” takes the dative “pugnae”, it means “ready for battle” simply because “paratus” can take the dative or  ad+the accusative when it denotes that somebody is ready for something (pugnae=for battle, in this case).

Lastly, when “paratus“ indicates that somebody is ready in something as in e.g. “Animo paratus erat”(He was ready in the soul/mind”), Latin uses the ablative.

To sum up, “paratus” can take different cases, according to the context.


2. Here’s the literal translation for “ Quemadmodum autem potest aliquis quantum satis sit adversus vitia discere, qui quantum a vitiis vacat discit? “ (LIX. ]10): “But (autem) how (quemadmodum) somebody (aliquis) who (qui) learns (discit) [it] as much as/only when (quantum) he is free (vacat) from vices (a vitiis, depending on "vacat") can (potest) learn (discere) what /how much (quantum) is enough (satis sit) against [his] vices?” just to point out that a man cannot learn what he must do against his vices, if he gives to learning it only the time  left over from his vices.



3. “Alexander..…, sagitta ictus diu persedere et incepta agere perseveravit.” (LIX.12) literally means: ” Alexander …., [though] wounded / struck (ictus, past participle of “icio”, 3rd conjugation) by an arrow (sagittā, abl), long (diu) continued steadfastly (perseveravit) to remain sitting [on his horse] (persedēre) and  to do (agĕre) the undertaken things/actions (incepta, neuter plural)”.
In short, Alexander, though he was wounded by an arrow during the siege of a certain city, long continued to remain sitting on his horse, intent on  finishing what he had begun.


4. In “Ne hoc quidem intellego….…quis cibo debeat esse, quis potioni modus…” (LIX.13) literally meaning:”I do not even  understand (ne..quidem intellego) this (hoc)[i.e.]: …which (quis) measure (modus) should (debeat) be (esse) to the food (cibo, dative) and the drink (potioni, dative)”, i.e. “I really do not know what should be the measure of my food or my drink”.
As you can see, the case of “cibo” and “potioni” is the dative depending on “modus” in the sense of a measure which is not to be exceeded so that nobody should eat or drink too much.


Best regards,
Maria

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