In Catilinam I: Reading Thread

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There are lots and lots of them in the first oration.:)
 

Callaina

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There are lots and lots of them in the first oration.:)
Good to know, I'll keep an eye out :D

No, not necessarily; but just replace the relative pronoun with "since" (more exactly than "because", in fact, at any rate most of the time) in translation.

But it can modify either what comes before or what comes after. E.g. "Since I went to bed late, I got up late" = quae sero cubitum issem, sero surrexi; "I got up late, since I went to bed late" = sero surrexi, quae sero cubitum issem.
Right, I guess "goes with the antecendent" is what I was aiming for.
 

Imber Ranae

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Ah, ok, I get it! I just didn't understand how a relative causal clause worked in general (actually I don't think I've seen one before in my reading.) So the "since" or "because" is to whatever comes before the relative clause, not after.

Actually in hindsight that seems blindingly obvious. Oh, well.
It doesn't necessarily have to come before, but the causal sense will modify the clause it's subordinate to and not any other. Here the relative clause is subordinate to quamdiu quisquam erit and not to vives, so it can't mean what you initially translated it as.

vives [you shall live]
> quamdiu quisquam erit [as long as there is anyone]
>> qui te defendere audeat [that (would) dare defend you]
 

Callaina

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It doesn't necessarily have to come before, but the causal sense will modify the clause it's subordinate to and not any other. Here the relative clause is subordinate to quamdiu quisquam erit and not to vives, so it can't mean what you initially translated it as.

vives [you shall live]
> quamdiu quisquam erit [as long as there is anyone]
>> qui te defendere audeat [that (would) dare defend you]
Thanks -- that lays it out very clearly. This is much less confusing now. :)
 

Imber Ranae

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By the way, in classical Latin non potius A quam B typically means 'as much B as A' rather than 'not so much A as B'. It's a statement of equivalence rather than of comparison.
 

Callaina

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By the way, in classical Latin non potius A quam B typically means 'as much A as B' rather than 'not so much A as B'. It's a statement of equivalence rather than of comparison.
Weird, I would have thought the emphasis would be reversed ("as much B as A", not "as much A as B"):

potius A quam B -> more A than B
therefore
non potius A quam B -> not "more A than B", i.e. not A any more than B, i.e. as much B as A

But perhaps I'm misunderstanding potius? :doh:
 

Imber Ranae

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Weird, I would have thought the emphasis would be reversed ("as much B as A", not "as much A as B"):

potius A quam B -> more A than B
therefore
non potius A quam B -> not "more A than B", i.e. not A any more than B, i.e. as much B as A

But perhaps I'm misunderstanding potius? :doh:
No, you're right: 'as much B as A' conveys the emphasis more correctly, and is in fact how I translated the passage above. I'll just fix my post and chalk it up to a brain fart.
 

Callaina

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No, you're right: 'as much B as A' conveys the emphasis more correctly, and is in fact how I translated the passage above. I'll just fix my post and chalk it up to a brain fart.
LOL, ok :D I got the general gist in any case :)

There are lots and lots of them in the first oration.:)
I see what you mean, just a few paragraphs later:

Nihil agis, nihil moliris, nihil cogitas, quod non ego non modo audiam, sed etiam videam planeque sentiam.

And then there's another one:

Hic, hic sunt in nostro numero, patres conscripti, in hoc orbis terrae sanctissimo gravissimoque consilio, qui de nostro omnium interitu, qui de huius urbis atque adeo de orbis terrarum exitio cogitent!

(I.e. they're not necessarily thinking about the destruction of the city, etc. right now as he's speaking, but they're the sort of people who would think about it...)

Fuisti igitur apud Laecam illa nocte, Catilina, distribuisti partes Italiae, statuisti, quo quemque proficisci placeret, delegisti, quos Romae relinqueres, quos tecum educeres, discripsisti urbis partes ad incendia, confirmasti te ipsum iam esse exiturum, dixisti paulum tibi esse etiam nunc morae, quod ego viverem. Reperti sunt duo equites Romani, qui te ista cura liberarent et sese illa ipsa nocte paulo ante lucem me in meo lectulo interfecturos [esse] pollicerentur.

LOL, I love his sarcasm here :D

Also, the subjunctives in that last sentence: are they a purpose clause this time? (A relative clause of characteristic doesn't feel quite right, because it isn't just that the knights are the sort of people who would kill Cicero, etc.; rather, they were deliberately selected for that purpose...)
 

Pacifica

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It's a kind of a purpose clause, yes. But the two are kind of based on the same principle.
 

Callaina

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It's a kind of a purpose clause, yes. But the two are kind of based on the same principle.
Say more? Do you just mean that they're both relative clauses that use the subjunctive, or something more?
 

Pacifica

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Well, to be honest I've always found the term "clause of characteristic" rather vague and a bit confusing. It looks like a category you put a little of everything in, everything that isn't straightforwardly purpose or straightforwardly result (or causal or concessive)... but that often contains a bit of one or the other of the former two.

Take a sentence like quis est qui hoc putet? You can say that it's a clause of characteristic, "Who is there of the kind that would think this?", but yet you can understand it as a kind of purpose clause, "Who is there to think this?", and at the same time you can see a nuance of result in it, "Who is such that he would think this?" — my idea is that it's probably a bit of both. Categories overlap. Now, "Who is there to think this?" You could use exactly the same construction if you wanted to say "What is there to eat?", where the purpose is clear, quid est quod edam?, which, I suppose, you could also analyse as kind of "What is there of the kind that I could eat?", but it feels somewhat less natural. Now both are about the existence (or not) of someone/something to do something/serve as something...
 

Callaina

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Well, to be honest I've always found the term "clause of characteristic" rather vague and a bit confusing. It looks like a category you put a little of everything in, everything that isn't straightforwardly purpose or straightforwardly result (or causal or concessive)... but that often contains a bit of one or the other of the former two.

Take a sentence like quis est qui hoc putet? You can say that it's a clause of characteristic, "Who is there of the kind that would think this?", but yet you can understand it as a kind of purpose clause, "Who is there to think this?", and at the same time you can see a nuance of result in it, "Who is such that he would think this?" — my idea is that it's probably a bit of both. Categories overlap. Now, "Who is there to think this?" You could use exactly the same construction if you wanted to say "What is there to eat?", where the purpose is clear, quid est quod edam?, which, I suppose, you could also analyse as kind of "What is there of the kind that I could eat?", but it feels somewhat less natural.
Huh, this is very interesting.

I guess what you're saying is this is simply a subtlety of the language, and that this type of relative clause doesn't split neatly into one category or another, but rather contains several different nuances/shades of meaning. Which, really, is only to be expected; I mean, English sentences (often) don't split up neatly into one category or another, either; in fact they're mostly far vaguer than Latin sentences, since English doesn't even really have a subjunctive.

I suppose this sort of overlap is inevitable, no matter how precise a language is.

Anyway, it's a fascinating question. Thanks for the above :)

A couple confusing things in the next sentence:

Haec ego omnia vixdum etiam coetu vestro dimisso comperi; domum meam maioribus praesidiis munivi atque firmavi, exclusi eos, quos tu ad me salutatum mane miseras, cum illi ipsi venissent, quos ego iam multis ac summis viris ad me id temporis venturos esse praedixeram.

(Perseus translation: All this I knew almost before your meeting had broken up. I strengthened and fortified my house with a stronger guard; I refused admittance, when they came, to those whom you sent in the morning to salute me, and of whom I had foretold to many eminent men that they would come to me at that time.)

1) Cum illi ipsi venissent. This doesn't seem causal ("I excluded them because they came") or concessive ("I excluded them although they came"), so it must be temporal (or circumstantial?). I'm still quite fuzzy on this and my textbooks/other sources have been rather contradictory, so please can someone explain under what circumstances a temporal clause with cum uses subjunctive and when it uses indicative? (Or, if it is circumstantial, how to tell them apart...)

2) I don't understand what id is doing in the last bit of the sentence; it doesn't seem to play any function at all that I can tell... :confused:
 

Pacifica

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I suppose this sort of overlap is inevitable, no matter how precise a language is.
I think so. After all, the people who speak a language don't develop it consciously so as to make it fit neatly into boxes. It's only afterwards that grammarians analyse a language and create the boxes and put the components in them. Some obviously fit in one and not in another, but it isn't as clear-cut in all cases...

Amico mortuo multum doluit.

What is amico mortuo? An ablative absolute or an ablative of cause? I'd say it's a bit of both. It even has something of an ablative of time.

But an ablative absolute is hardly ever only an ablative absolute, actually. It's always a bit temporal or causal or conditional or concessive, even instrumental... and sometimes several of these at the same time.
 

Callaina

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I think so. After all, the people who speak a language don't develop it consciously so as to make it fit neatly into boxes. It's only afterwards that grammarians analyse a language and create the boxes and put the components in them. Some obviously fit in one and not in another, but it isn't as clear-cut in all cases...

Amico mortuo multum doluit.

What is amico mortuo? An ablative absolute or an ablative of cause? I'd say it's a bit of both. It even has something of an ablative of time.
But an ablative absolute is hardly ever only an ablative absolute, actually. It's always a bit temporal or causal or conditional or concessive, even instrumental... and sometimes several of these at the same time.
Right -- and of course context makes an enormous difference as well...
 

Pacifica

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1) Cum illi ipsi venissent. This doesn't seem causal ("I excluded them because they came") or concessive ("I excluded them although they came"), so it must be temporal (or circumstantial?).
I think I would translate it as something like "... as those who had come were the very ones of whom I had foretold..." (but word for word, "as those themselves had come whom...")
I'm still quite fuzzy on this and my textbooks/other sources have been rather contradictory, so please can someone explain under what circumstances a temporal clause with cum uses subjunctive and when it uses indicative? (Or, if it is circumstantial, how to tell them apart...)
In the perfect, present and future tenses, it's straightforward: temporal = indicative; causal or concessive = subjunctive. Now with the imperfect and pluperfect cum behaves a little differently; you very often find what's sometimes called "cum historical" which takes the subjunctive; which I would call "circumstantial", but it's sometimes difficult to differentiate that clearly from temporal; and it's particularly difficult when it comes to demonstrating the difference in English. Maybe you can say that basically in some way, cum circumstantial (with subj.) is more like "as" and the temporal one (with ind.) more like "when", but in practice you can often translate the former as "when" too... I think that you generally find the subjunctive when the clause describes a background that is relatively closely connected to what's happening in the main clause, and the indicative when it describes a contemporaneous event, but less closely connected.
2) I don't understand what id is doing in the last bit of the sentence; it doesn't seem to play any function at all that I can tell... :confused:
Id temporis = literally "that of time" = "at that time/moment". Remember illud horae in that Apuleius passage I'd posted. It's relatively frequent to find these temporal expressions made up of a neuter pronoun in the accusative (sort of an adverbial accusative) and the genitive of a noun expressing time.
 

Callaina

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I think that you generally find the subjunctive when the clause describes a background that is relatively closely connected to what's happening in the main clause, and the indicative when it describes a contemporaneous event, but less closely connected.
Ah -- now that makes a great deal more sense. :)

Id temporis = literally "that of time" = "at that time/moment". Remember illud horae in that Apuleius passage I'd posted
:eek:

That was one random sentence a month and a half ago (!!)...how do you remember these things?!?!

Anyway:

It's relatively frequent to find these temporal expressions made up of a neuter pronoun in the accusative (sort of an adverbial accusative) and the genitive of a noun expressing time.
But it seems totally grammatically detached from everything around it. Like an ablative absolute, but it's not ablative. Is there some connection I'm missing, or does it just...randomly pop into the sentence without anything else being connected to it?
 

Pacifica

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:eek:

That was one random sentence a month and a half ago (!!)...how do you remember these things?!?!
Lol, you are telling me this, you who remember hundreds of verses from years ago? Lol.
But it seems totally grammatically detached from everything around it. Like an ablative absolute, but it's not ablative. Is there some connection I'm missing, or does it just...randomly pop into the sentence without anything else being connected to it?
It works just like any adverbial phrase. You'll find that the ablative is not the only "adverbial case", but the accusative is too (just think of things like multum, etc.). Now, don't get me wrong, "time at which" is never expressed by the accusative except in this neuter pronoun + gen. kind of expressions.*

*Edit: And in adverbs like tum, tunc, cum, nunc... which are originally accusative pronouns, but they were probably hardly felt as such at all any longer (though you sometimes find nunc and tunc modified by an adjective ipsum)...
 

Callaina

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It works just like any adverbial phrase. You'll find that the ablative is not the only "adverbial case", but the accusative is too (just think of things like multum, etc.). Now, don't get me wrong, "time at which" is never expressed by the accusative except in this neuter pronoun + gen. kind of expressions.*

*Edit: And in adverbs like tum, tunc, cum, nunc... which are originally accusative pronouns, but they were probably hardly felt as such at all any longer (though you sometimes find nunc and tunc modified by an adjective ipsum)...
Huh, interesting. I hadn't run across many of these accusative adverbial expressions, I guess (or if I did they were just one word and I dumped it into the mental category of "adverb" and just didn't think about the ending...) :D

Lol, you are telling me this, you who remember hundreds of verses from years ago? Lol.
I dunno, I think remembering that you posted a sentence a month and a half ago (among hundreds or probably thousands of others you've posted since!) that contains one particular, fairly obscure, grammatical form, is just as impressive as remembering hundreds of lines of poetry (which after all is more or less a rote memorization thing on one level, it's sort of automatic to recite, though admittedly I do seem to be able to pull out random verses by association as well...) :)
 

Pacifica

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that contains one particular, fairly obscure, grammatical form
Perhaps the very fact that something is "fairly obscure" makes so that you remember it more easily than mere routine stuff. ;) (Actually I think that's the only passage where I read the exact expression illud horae, though I've met many similar ones like id temporis, id aetatis and such elsewhere.)
 

Callaina

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Perhaps the very fact that something is "fairly obscure" makes so that you remember it more easily than mere routine stuff. ;) (Actually I think that's the only passage where I read the exact expression illud horae, though I've met many similar ones like id temporis, id aetatis and such elsewhere.)
LOL, but I've seen you do the exact same thing many times before (with a whole range of things, obscure and not). Don't try to deny your magical witchy powers! ;) :p
 
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