Help with Cicero "legendis nostris"

OscarMDavies

New Member
Could someone please explain how "legendis nostris" works in:

orationem autem Latinam efficies profecto legendis nostris pleniorem.
(Cicero De Officiis 1.2)

The translator I'm reading has it translated it as "by reading my writings"
(In full: "by reading my philosophical writings you will be sure to render your mastery of the Latin language more complete")

My take is: legendis is the plural dative gerundive; nostris is the plural dative; ("writings" is implied) so I understand something incoherent like "with my writings ought to be being read"?

I would have thought the meaning as given in the translation would be rendered with:
"legendo nostra" ("nostra" being the accusative plural)

Thanks
 

AoM

nulli numeri
 

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Civis Illustris
Could someone please explain how "legendis nostris" works in:

orationem autem Latinam efficies profecto legendis nostris pleniorem.
(Cicero De Officiis 1.2)

The translator I'm reading has it translated it as "by reading my writings"
(In full: "by reading my philosophical writings you will be sure to render your mastery of the Latin language more complete")

My take is: legendis is the plural dative gerundive; nostris is the plural dative; ("writings" is implied) so I understand something incoherent like "with my writings ought to be being read"?
It is an ablative plural and to be taken instrumentally, which gives you exactly the translation your translator came up with.

I would have thought the meaning as given in the translation would be rendered with:
"legendo nostra" ("nostra" being the accusative plural)

Thanks

Constructing it with a gerund is theoretically also possible here, but the way Cicero did it (with gerundive) is more common.

(as is explained in AoM's screenshot)
 

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Civis Illustris
Humble as usual.

Well ... a) he's right (gotta give him that)
b) de officiis was supposed to be a didactic piece for his son, so him reading it to become better was the entire point of why it was written in the first place.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

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Civis Illustris
"Instead of the Genitive or Ablative of the Gerund with a Direct Object"

Or other cases, really.
I think what is meant is that genitive and ablative (without preposition) are the cases where a gerund construction would be permissible.
You wouldn't want to write 'instead of the dative of the gerund with a direct object', because you don't use the dative of the gerund with a direct object.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Ah, I didn't think of that. It sounds misleading in the standalone quote, as if it were saying that the gerundive construction happened only in the gen. or abl. while it's in fact extremely common in the accusative as well, and is sometimes found in the dative. But maybe that's made clear in a close passage that wasn't quoted.
 

AoM

nulli numeri
Yeah, just before that:

"5. As a rule, only the Genitive of the Gerund and the Ablative (without a preposition) admit a Direct Object."
 
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