De Natura Deorum Chapter 1: disputed passage

Pacifica

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Or maybe another guy he knows got his, er, "service" for free? ;) (And he's jealous, I mean...)
Maybe. Or perhaps he's complaining that nothing happens the way it should in illa civitate — and as a prostitute is supposed to take money...
 

Callaina

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Tagging Aurifex and Imber Ranae in the hope that one of them can shed some light on this (I'm curious now...)
 

Pacifica

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I've just realized that the work the quote is from is actually mentioned just before, lol (in Synephebis).

And it seems my last guess here may be the closest one:
Or perhaps he's complaining that nothing happens the way it should in illa civitate — and as a prostitute is supposed to take money...
Quoting from the French Wiki (the English article is less detailed):

  • Dans Synephebi le personnage de meretrix (courtisane), dans la palliata traditionnellement avide et vénale, apparaît à contrario généreux et désintéressé, prêt à se sacrifier pour l'adulescens aimé24.
Pro deum, popularium omnium, omnium adulescentium
Clamo postulo obsecro oro ploro atque inploro fidem!
Hoc in civitate fiunt facinora capitalia:
<Nam> ab amico amante argentum accipere meretrix noenu volt.
 

Callaina

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Huh, interesting. I didn't know that term (palliata). Thanks. :)
 

Callaina

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On another note, I love this bit:

[18] Tum Velleius fidenter sane, ut solent isti, nihil tam verens, quam ne dubitare aliqua de re videretur, tamquam modo ex deorum concilio et ex Epicuri intermundiis descendisset, "Audite" inquit "non futtilis commenticiasque sententias..."

:hysteric:
 

Callaina

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Just out of curiosity: does anyone know if this was actually based on a discussion (however modified and polished) between Cicero and his friends? Or did Cicero just write the whole thing himself (and if so, I wonder what the people whose mouths he put words into thought of his summary of their positions...?)
 

Imber Ranae

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Probably not, as the dialogue was already an established literary form. Cicero almost certainly wrote it all himself, though it's possible he consulted them. In any case the arguments of each are meant to represent their respective philosophical schools of thought.
 

Callaina

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Another question from the first part:

[3] Sunt enim philosophi et fuerunt, qui omnino nullam habere censerent rerum humanarum procurationem deos. Quorum si vera sententia est, quae potest esse pietas, quae sanctitas, quae religio? Haec enim omnia pure atque caste tribuenda deorum numini ita sunt, si animadvertuntur ab is et si est aliquid a deis inmortalibus hominum generi tributum; sin autem dei neque possunt nos iuvare nec volunt nec omnino curant nec, quid agamus, animadvertunt nec est, quod ab is ad hominum vitam permanare possit, quid est, quod ullos deis inmortalibus cultus, honores, preces adhibeamus?

I'm not sure what he's getting at with this "quid est, quod..." in the last sentence. Maybe "...what is it [i.e. what good/use is it] that we offer any worship, honors, prayers to the immortal gods?" (...but then I would have expected acc + inf, not subjunctive.)
 

Pacifica

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Literally "What is there (with regards to) which we should..." i.e. "what reason is there for us to..." or sim.
 

Pacifica

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I suppose it can be called like that.

Quid est quod with the indicative would mean "What does it mean that...?/What is the meaning of the fact that...?"
 

Godmy

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The problem is, PP, that this way any noun [object] clause made with a finite subordinate clause could be explained.

For example if somebody wrote not entirely correct, though theoretically possible: putō quod homō sīs (instead of tē hominem esse putō)

...you can also syntactically argue that the the object of putō is [id] which is then modified by "quod". In fact, this was probably the origin of "quod" being used for certain (and then for all) noun clauses. That it was originally simply a relative clause conjunction in neuter used for implied id.

I think in this case it is the noun clause "that" conjunction and the clause is an [object] noun clause. We know that noun clauses in a very few cases can be expressed with quod+subj. (as opposed to later Latin quod+ind. or quia+ind) instead of acc-inf, so I think this is one of the cases: quid est quod
 

Pacifica

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The quod clause is definitely a noun clause in the idiom quid est quod + ind., where the quod clause means "the fact that" and so basically works as a noun (it's a subject noun clause, though, not object). But it isn't a noun clause in the idiom quid est quod + subj., since there the quod clause doesn't mean "the fact that" or anything that could stand as a noun, but quod really works as a relative (the antecedent of which is quid) in the accusative of respect or something similar, the meaning being literally something like "what is there with regards to which one should..."
 

Godmy

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Ah, yes a subject noun clause, I was too fixated on the contrived example I provided (which is an object clause). (And yes, I agree that the subjunctive here has its own meaning, independent on the syntax, I misread it in the first place and now I read it again).


Well, if it is a noun clause, it's not a relative clause, unless you want to define any noun clause with quod as a relative clause: that's a contradiction. It's either one, or the second in one time (it can be a relative clause originally (=etymologically), but clearly not here).

Let's not mistake a synchronic and diachronic approaches to language (i.e. an etymological meaning, if different, has nothing to do with the current meaning).
 

Pacifica

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You seem to have misread me. I'm not saying that one or both of the constructions is or are a noun clause and a relative clause at the same time, but that one is a noun clause and the other a relative clause.

- In quid est quod + indicative (meaning "What does it mean that...?" — or literally "What is (the fact) that...?"), the quod clause is a (subject) noun clause.

- In quid est quod + subjunctive (meaning "What reason is there for...?" — or literally "What is there with regards to which one should...?"), the quod clause is in fact (if we really analyze the origin of the structure) a sort of relative clause, quod being an accusative of respect or an internal accusative, or both (I'm not sure which term is more appropriate), and its antecedent being quid — even if quod can also be regarded as a conjunction here, just like multum is regarded as an adverb albeit it's initially the acc. neuter of multus, a, um in an adverbial acc. usage.
 

Pacifica

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In fact, it's rather a predicative noun clause, since the subject is quid, though the difference, is minute near to none (or we can argue that quid just wants to find out what the subject is).
In quid est quod + ind., the quod clause is the subject and quid is predicative (as you say, quid wants to find out what the subject — the quod clause — is). In quid est quod + subj., quid is subject and the quod clause is a relative clause modifying it.
 

Godmy

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- In quid est quod + indicative (meaning "What does it mean that...?" — or literally "What is (the fact) that...?"), the quod clause is a (subject) noun clause.
Quod+ind in which Latin though? In the classical Latin you rather use subjunctive for that purpose (when ACI is not invoked from some reasons) because of the syntax (you're rather not allowed to use indicative in such cases). But those cases are rare anyway, since it's most usually ACI.

- In quid est quod + subjunctive (meaning "What reason is there for...?" — or literally "What is there with regards to which one should...?"), the quod clause is in fact (if we really analyze the origin of the structure) a sort of relative clause, quod being an accusative of respect or an internal accusative, or both (I'm not sure which term is more appropriate), and its antecedent being quid — even if quod can also be regarded as a conjunction here, just like multum is regarded as an adverb albeit it's initially the acc. neuter of multus, a, um in an adverbial acc. usage.
1) quid est quod subj. can just be a subjunctive forced by the syntax (a subordinate finite noun clause will rather use a subjunctive in the classical Latin than indicative by any rate)
2) well again, what it is originally doesn't matter in a sychronic analysis of the langauge (= analysis not taking into account the origins), which is the only good way how to analyse a language because an etymological knowledge is not required for a speaker (and most usually even lacking and not consciously applied while speaking, anyway - only the current meaning plays a role). So you can't say statements as "sort of relative clause", you can only say "originally relative clause, now having gained a full meaning of a noun clause)

The diachronic approach (taking into account the origins) is useful for philology in general but not for linguistics (and syntactical analysis is linguistics).

The sentence would read the same with ACI (the only difference would be that ACI cannot render the potential subj. so well).
 

Pacifica

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Quod+ind in which Latin though? In the classical Latin you rather use subjunctive for that purpose (when ACI is not invoked from some reasons) because of the syntax (you're rather not allowed to use indicative in such cases). But those cases are rare anyway, since it's most usually ACI.
Quid est quod + indicative, with the meaning that I said ("What does it mean that...?") is an idiom. See OLD, quod, 7.
1) quid est quod subj. can just be a subjunctive forced by the syntax (a subordinate finite noun clause will rather use a subjunctive in the classical Latin than indicative by any rate)
2) well again, what it is originally doesn't matter in a sychronic analysis of the langauge (= analysis not taking into account the origins), which is the only good way how to analyse a language because an etymological knowledge is not required for a speaker (and most usually even lacking and not consciously applied while speaking, anyway - only the current meaning plays a role). So you can't say statements as "sort of relative clause", you can only say "originally relative clause, now having gained a full meaning of a noun clause)

The diachronic approach (taking into account the origins) is useful for philology in general but not for linguistics (and syntactical analysis is linguistics).

The sentence would read the same with ACI (the only difference would be that ACI cannot render the potential subj. so well).
I did say that quod there (in spite of its technical/original analysis that I gave, whatever you call that) could be called a conjunction.
I still don't think the quod clause in quid est quod + subj. is a noun clause.
 

Godmy

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Quid est quod + indicative, with the meaning that I said ("What does it mean that...?") is an idiom. See OLD, quod, 7.
Yeah, there's also 7b with subj., but Ok. I can concede it for this particular case. My argument was rather about finite noun clauses in general (in random cases) + I also wanted to state that the subj. in the noun quod clauses in general (anywhere) doesn't need to have any independent meaning on its own but just be there as a result of the syntactic subordination.

I still don't think the quod clause in quid est quod + subj. is a noun clause.
Well, if the case is that it just modifies some non-stated "id" which has no other meaning than a place holder for the subject/object in a clause, then calling it a relative clause is not the full story - it's a redundant step, since we don't really care about a property of "id", we rather care about what the predicate is itself (and "id" is empty).

The same with ACI clauses: you can interpret them in two ways. 1) you can say the both the accusative and the infinitive are the objects of the finite verb 2) you can say that the finite verb has its own one object which is [id] which is further specified by the accusative/infinitive apositions.

The thing is that we usually ignore the [id] anytime we can in a syntactic analysis. It's usually a useless step and it doesn't probably express what is really meant in the speaker's mind (which is what linguistics tries to uncover by some clever tests and methods).
 
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