De Natura Deorum Chapter 1: disputed passage

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's because it's part of indirect speech (depending on putant).

Pariat is subjunctive for the same reason, btw.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
It's because it's part of indirect speech (depending on putant).

Pariat is subjunctive for the same reason, btw.
I did consider that, but it didn't really seem to be integral to the thought of the philosophers he's describing -- more like an aside by Cicero himself.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It seems like not. ;)
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
It seems like not. ;)
Not trying to be difficult, but how do you know for sure? There's nothing about that clause at all that feels integral to the reported speech; one could take it out and the sentence would still make perfect sense (I mean, presumably all the seasons and types of weather are necessary to grow crops, not just some of them, so it's not as if it's specifying a particular subset of them, and it's already been made clear that we're talking about the earth providing crops, etc. in the first part, so...)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
one could take it out and the sentence would still make perfect sense
Yes, but that doesn't mean it can't be part of their thought.

I have no concrete proof to give you that it's the explanation, it's just how I instinctively take it. You can still wait and see if others think the same.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Ok -- I'd just thought by the winky face that there must be some obvious reason I was missing.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
Ok -- I'd just thought by the winky face that there must be some obvious reason I was missing.
What persuades me (apart from the subjunctives) that Cicero intends this clause as part of the thoughts of the philosophers is that it completes the sense unit that began with "nam et fruges". The idea of the philosophers seems to be that there are crops et al. and these only exist because the seasons etc. allow them to mature and grow. Taking "quibus omnia" etc. as Cicero's own comment leaves the crops on the one hand and the role of the seasons etc. in facilitating the gift of crops on the other much less tightly linked to one another in the thoughts of the original speakers.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Hmm, ok, I see what you mean; it does make more sense as a whole that way, especially since this is explaining/elaborating on why these philosophers believe all things to be ordered by God and provision made for human life, etc. Thanks. :)
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
Hmm, ok, I see what you mean; it does make more sense as a whole that way, especially since this is explaining/elaborating on why these philosophers believe all things to be ordered by God and provision made for human life, etc. Thanks. :)
Even spiders sometimes read those old philosophers:
 
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