In Catilinam I: Reading Thread

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Having decided (for the moment, anyway) that Apuleius is not really my cup of tea, I've decided to take the excellent suggestion made by Imber Ranae and malleolus and read through the first Catiline Oration. After all, one really can't go wrong with Cicero... :)

I'm not going to be posting translations for this one, mostly because it's just so well-known (and the sentences aren't half so complex as Apuleius). But I will keep a thread and ask questions as they come up. Help is, as always, most gratefully appreciated. :)

I read through the first section without any major difficulties, except for:

Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt?

"...neither this most secure place of the Senate..." (?) But I'm stumped by habendi; I can't figure out how it fits into the clause. It doesn't seem to make any sense either as a gerund or gerundive.

Thanks in advance. :)
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
Having decided (for the moment, anyway) that Apuleius is not really my cup of tea, I've decided to take the excellent suggestion made by Imber Ranae and malleolus and read through the first Catiline Oration. After all, one really can't go wrong with Cicero... :)

I'm not going to be posting translations for this one, mostly because it's just so well-known (and the sentences aren't half so complex as Apuleius). But I will keep a thread and ask questions as they come up. Help is, as always, most gratefully appreciated. :)

I read through the first section without any major difficulties, except for:

Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae, nihil timor populi, nihil concursus bonorum omnium, nihil hic munitissimus habendi senatus locus, nihil horum ora voltusque moverunt?

"...neither this most secure place of the Senate..." (?) But I'm stumped by habendi; I can't figure out how it fits into the clause. It doesn't seem to make any sense either as a gerund or gerundive.

Thanks in advance. :)
It's a gerundive modifying senatus.
ETA:
...this most heavily fortified place for convening the senate...
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
It's a gerundive modifying senatus.
Well, that's what I'd thought, but it still makes no sense to me. "The Senate that must be had"? "Must be kept"? "Must be retained"? Habere has about a zillion meanings and I'm not sure what's intended here... :doh:

Well, that's what I'd thought, but it still makes no sense to me. "The Senate that must be had"? "Must be kept"? "Must be retained"? Habere has about a zillion meanings and I'm not sure what's intended here... :doh:
"Must be preserved" or "defended", maybe, I guess?
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
munitissimus is heavily fortified
senatus habendi (genetive) of the senate that has to be convened
senatum habere to convene the senate
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Habere has here the sense of "holding" as in holding a meeting or so.

Don't forget that the gerundive construction is used here instead of a gerund + direct object (habendi senatum), with (for all practical purposes at any rate) the same meaning.

Literally "place of holding the senate", i.e. to hold the senate, or for the convening of the senate as M said.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Habere has here the sense of "holding" as in holding a meeting or so.

Don't forget that the gerundive construction is used here instead of a gerund + direct object (habendi senatum), with (for all practical purposes at any rate) the same meaning.
Gah! Can't believe I didn't even consider that. Thanks. :oops:

Oh, now I see why I didn't spot that construction. I think every time I've come across this before (which has only been a handful of times in total, LOL) it's been with 1st/2nd declension nouns, and so the endings have matched, which is sort of a dead giveaway. Apparently I can't depend on them lining up so neatly.

(Excuses, excuses, I know.) ;)

I'm still slowly but surely working my way though this. Ran into a thorny sentence, though, in section 5:

Si te iam, Catilina, comprehendi, si interfici iussero, credo, erit verendum mihi, ne non potius hoc omnes boni serius a me quam quisquam crudelius factum esse dicat.

Looking at the translation on Perseus, they render this as: "If, O Catiline, I should now order you to be arrested, to be put to death, I should, I suppose, have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily, rather than that any one should affirm that I acted cruelly."

I understand how everything in this sentence works except for the non potius...quam. There seem to be too many negatives here... :doh: If he's saying that he needs to fear more that people should say he's acted tardily than that someone should affirm he's acted cruelly, shouldn't just potius...quam do it? Why the non? (To me this makes it sound like he's saying he needs to fear "not so much" X "as" Y, instead of X "rather than" Y.)
 

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus
Si te iam, Catilina, comprehendi, si interfici iussero, credo, erit verendum mihi, ne non potius hoc omnes boni serius a me quam quisquam crudelius factum esse dicat.
If I may offer my two cents, when I was reading this last year, I actually interpreted the bolded part as a fearing clause rather than a result clause, which would yield "...I suppose, I have to fear that all good men should say that I acted too slowly rather than anyone say that I did this too cruelly."

Wait for others to weigh in on this, though.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
If I may offer my two cents, when I was reading this last year, I actually interpreted the bolded part as a fearing clause rather than a result clause, which would yield "...I suppose, I have to fear that all good men should say that I acted too slowly rather than anyone say that I did this too cruelly."
I assumed from the start it was a fear clause, given the verendum right before it ;) That wasn't the issue; I just don't understand how the non of the non potius is reflected in Perseus' (or your) translation... :(

Earnest students have indeed puzzled over this thorny sentence: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4387333?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
Well, at least I'm not the only one. Confusion loves company... ;)

Heh: "As every one knows, the parenthetical credo repeatedly marks irony."

Well, apparently everyone knows it NOW ;) but I didn't two minutes ago, LOL :D

*grabs dunce cap and heads for the nearest corner*
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, it's a fearing clause, but who said it was a result clause?
 

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus
Yes, it's a fearing clause, but who said it was a result clause?
L&S dixit:
...have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily, rather than that any one should affirm that I acted cruelly.
"Lest" indicates a purpose clause.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus
... or a fearing clause. ;)
:confused: How? "I have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily" ---> "I should fear, so that all good men don't say I acted too slowly"

"I have to fear that all good men should say that I acted tardily" ---> "I have to fear because all good men might say that I acted too slowly"
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
It's admittedly a bit archaic, but "lest" can indeed introduce a fearing clause (see 2).

"I have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily" ---> "I should fear, so that all good men say I acted too slowly"
When it introduces a purpose clause (which it doesn't here), "lest" means "so that not", not "so that".
 

Ignis Umbra

Ignis Aeternus

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I'm still slowly but surely working my way though this. Ran into a thorny sentence, though, in section 5:

Si te iam, Catilina, comprehendi, si interfici iussero, credo, erit verendum mihi, ne non potius hoc omnes boni serius a me quam quisquam crudelius factum esse dicat.

Looking at the translation on Perseus, they render this as: "If, O Catiline, I should now order you to be arrested, to be put to death, I should, I suppose, have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily, rather than that any one should affirm that I acted cruelly."

I understand how everything in this sentence works except for the non potius...quam. There seem to be too many negatives here... :doh: If he's saying that he needs to fear more that people should say he's acted tardilythan that someone should affirm he's acted cruelly, shouldn't just potius...quam do it? Why the non? (To me this makes it sound like he's saying he needs to fear "not so much" X "as" Y, instead of X "rather than" Y.)
I think that translation is just poor, and whoever made it seems to have simply omitted the non because they didn't know what to do with it. The sentiment is sarcastic: 'If I order you now, Catiline, to be arrested, If I order you killed, then I suppose I'll have to worry quite as much that in this someone might say I acted too cruelly as that all the upright men will say I acted too slowly'.

He's making a comment on his predicament ensuring that, no matter what he does, he won't be able to please anyone entirely, but the mocking irony in it is made clear by the fact that he refers to the people whom Catiline is relying upon to object as so few and insignificant (quisquam) that, despite his sarcastic equating of the two, they can hardly be judged to outweigh even the imperfect approbation of omnes boni, who would rather he had dealt with Catiline much earlier.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I think that translation is just poor, and whoever made it seems to have simply omitted the non because they didn't know what to do with it. The sentiment is sarcastic: 'If I order you now, Catiline, to be arrested, If I order you killed, then I suppose I'll have to worry quite as much that in this someone might say I acted too cruelly as that all the upright men will say I acted too slowly'.

He's making a comment on his predicament ensuring that, no matter what he does, he won't be able to please anyone entirely, but the mocking irony in it is made clear by the fact that he refers to the people whom Catiline is relying upon to object as so few and insignificant (quisquam) that, despite his sarcastic equating of the two, they can hardly be judged to outweigh even the imperfect approbation of omnes boni, who would rather he had dealt with Catiline much earlier.
I suppose that does make sense, given the Tum denique interficiere, cum iam nemo tam inprobus, tam perditus, tam tui similis inveniri poterit, qui id non iure factum esse fateatur later in the paragraph -- i.e. "You'll finally be killed when there's absolutely nobody who could possibly be so evil and corrupt (in fact, just like you!) as to think it unjustly done."

Small question in the next bit (immediately following from the above):

[6] Quamdiu quisquam erit, qui te defendere audeat, vives, et vives ita, ut [nunc] vivis, multis meis et firmis praesidiis obsessus, ne commovere te contra rem publicam possis. Multorum te etiam oculi et aures non sentientem, sicut adhuc fecerunt, speculabuntur atque custodient.
[But] as long as there is someone who dares to defend you, you shall live; and thus you shall live, such as you live now -- watched over by my many powerful protectors, that you may not stir yourself against the Republic. Even now the eyes and ears of many watch and guard you, unaware, as they have done hitherto.

This relative clause is causal, I take it? "As long as there is someone who dares to defend you, you shall live [i.e. because they dare to defend you...]"
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
It's rather a relative clause of characteristic meaning "anyone of the type of person who would dare to defend you"

Clearly, Cicero doesn't care for that specific type of person
 
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