Pro Roscio 66


Civis Illustris
Hi all,
this sentence is bugging me greatly.

"Videtisne, quos nobis poetae tradiderunt patris ulciscendi causa supplicium de matre sumpsisse, cum praesertim deorum immortalium iussis atque oraculis id fecisse dicantur, tamen ut eos agitent Furiae neque consistere umquam patiantur, quod ne pii quidem sine scelere esse potuerunt?"

I get the gist of what he is saying (i.e: a reference to parricide in Greek tragedy), however I don't understand the syntax of "ulciscendi...sumpsisse" (indirect statement initiated by "tradiderunt"?) nor what function "quod" (causal?) has here.

My attempt:
"Do you see what people the poets have handed down to us as having exacted their punishment on their mother for the sake of avenging their father, [but] although they are said to have done it because of the oracular commands of the immortal gods especially, [do you see] how the Furies tormented them and did not allow themselves to stop because (?) not even dutiful individuals were able to be without wickedness/crime?

oro atque obsecro ut me adiuvetis!

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
The placement of the relative clause before the indirect question introduced by ut is maybe throwing you off, but quos actually has its antecedent in eos. You seem to have translated quos as if it were an indirect question, but if that were the case the verb tradiderunt would have been subjunctive.

Don't ye see, [with regard to those] whom the poets have passed down to us as having exacted punishment on their mother in order to avenge their father, in particular when they are said to have done it in accordance with the commands and oracular responses of the immortal gods, how the Furies nevertheless haunt them and do not ever allow them rest* because they could not even be pious (i.e. by avenging their father) without wickedness (i.e. killing their mother)?​

*literally 'drive them about and don't let them halt'.


Civis Illustris
Ah, "eos" being the antecedent was so obvious... I don't know how I missed that. :)