Reading Cicero - need recommendations

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Next bit. The end is in sight! :D

(26) Quae cum dixisset: 'Ego vero,' inquam, 'Africane, si quidem bene meritis de patria quasi limes ad caeli aditus patet, quamquam a pueritia vestigiis ingressus patris et tuis decori vestro non defui, nunc tamen tanto praemio exposito enitar multo vigilantius.' Et ille: 'Tu vero enitere et sic habeto, non esse te mortalem, sed corpus hoc; nec enim tu is es, quem forma ista declarat, sed mens cuiusque is est quisque, non ea figura, quae digito demonstrari potest. Deum te igitur scito esse, si quidem est deus, qui viget, qui sentit, qui meminit, qui providet, qui tam regit et moderatur et movet id corpus, cui praepositus est, quam hunc mundum ille princeps deus, et ut mundum ex quadam parte mortalem ipse deus aeternus, sic fragile corpus animus sempiternus movet.

When he had said these things: "Truly, Africanus," I said, "if a path to the gates of heaven, so to speak, surely lies open to those who have served their country well* -- although from boyhood I, having walked in the footsteps of you and of my father, have not neglected your honor -- yet now, with such a great reward revealed, I shall strive a great deal more vigilantly." And he: "Strive indeed, and know that you are not mortal, except for this body; neither, truly, are you "he" which this mere form shows, but rather a mind [or spirit/soul], whose "he" entirely is**; not the outward appearance which can be pointed out visually [literally, demonstrated with a finger]. Know yourself therefore to be a god, inasmuch as a god is [one] who lives, who perceives, who remembers, who provides [or, discerns], who so rules and guides and moves the body, over whom it is commander, just as that chief God [rules] this world; and as the eternal God himself moves the mortal cosmos from a certain place, so the eternal soul moves the perishable body."

*I translated this fairly loosely because I couldn't see a way to keep the original wording.
** The cuiusque and quisque confused me a bit here.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
si quidem bene meritis de patria quasi limes ad caeli aditus patet
if a path to the gates of heaven, so to speak, surely lies open to those who have served their country well
Si quidem (sometimes written as one word) = if really.../if it is true that.../if indeed...
*I translated this fairly loosely because I couldn't see a way to keep the original wording.
For bene meritis de patria, "those who have deserved well of their country", maybe?
non esse te mortalem, sed corpus hoc
that you are not mortal, except for this body
Well, more exactly, "that you are not mortal, but this body (is)", "that it is not you who are mortal, but this body".
nec enim tu is es, quem forma ista declarat, sed mens cuiusque is est quisque
neither, truly, are you "he" which this mere form shows, but rather a mind [or spirit/soul], whose "he" entirely is**
** The cuiusque and quisque confused me a bit here.
"For you are not the one whom that form of yours shows, but each person's mind is what each person is."

Or word for word: each one's (cuiusque) mind (mens), each one (quisque) is (est) this one (is).
a god is [one] who lives, who perceives, who remembers, who provides [or, discerns], who so rules and guides and moves the body, over whom it is commander
est deus, qui viget, qui sentit, qui meminit, qui providet, qui tam regit et moderatur et movet id corpus, cui praepositus est
Roughly: "It is a god who is active, who feels, who remembers, who exercises forethought, who rules, guides and moves the body it has been put in charge of just as that chief god does with this world."
mundum ex quadam parte mortalem
"The world (which is) partly mortal".
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
For bene meritis de patria, "those who have deserved well of their country", maybe?
I considered that, but it sounds (a) terribly clunky and (b) is ambiguous (i.e. it suggests that the people deserve to be treated well by their country).

"The world (which is) partly mortal".
How does the ex + abl function here (I don't doubt you're right, I just don't understand how this gives "partly mortal" -- "from a certain part", literally, I guess?)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
How does the ex + abl function here (I don't doubt you're right, I just don't understand how this gives "partly mortal" -- "from a certain part", literally, I guess?)
Yes. "From some part", i.e. "in a certain measure", "in part", or sim.
Similarly there are things like magna ex parte, "in great part"...
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Nearly there! I found this section quite fascinating (and not too difficult, even though it's a rather dense philosophical discussion, LOL. Aristotle would have loved this...) :D

(27) Nam quod semper movetur, aeternum est. Quod autem motum affert alicui, quodque ipsum agitatur aliunde, quando finem habet motus, vivendi finem habeat necesse est. Solum igitur, quod se movet, quia numquam deseritur a se, numquam ne moveri quidem desinit. Quin etiam ceteris, quae moventur, hic fons, hoc principium est movendi. Principii autem nulla est origo; nam ex principio oriuntur omnia, ipsum autem nulla ex re alia nasci potest; nec enim esset id principium, quod gigneretur aliunde. Quodsi numquam oritur, ne occidit quidem umquam. Nam principium exstinctum nec ipsum ab alio renascetur nec ex se aliud creabit, si quidem necesse est a principio oriri omnia. Ita fit, ut motus principium ex eo sit, quod ipsum a se movetur. Id autem nec nasci potest nec mori; vel concidat omne caelum omnisque natura et consistat necesse est nec vim ullam nanciscatur, qua a primo impulsa moveatur.

(28) Cum pateat igitur aeternum id esse, quod a se ipso moveatur, quis est, qui hanc naturam animis esse tributam neget? Inanimum est enim omne, quod pulsu agitatur externo; quod autem est animal, id motu cietur interno et suo; nam haec est propria natura animi atque vis. Quae si est una ex omnibus, quae sese moveat, neque nata certe est et aeterna est.

For what is always moved is eternal. And what conveys motion to anything, that very thing -- whatever it be -- is itself set into motion from some other source; when motion has an end, it is inevitable there should be an end to life. Therefore only that thing that moves itself, because it is never failed by itself, surely never ceases to be moved. Nay, even to the other things which are moved, this is the source, the beginning of motion. And there is no source of the beginning; for out of the beginning all things arise, but it itself can be born out of no other thing; neither truly would it be the beginning, were it born from another source. Which [i.e. the beginning], if it was never born, surely never perishes. For the beginning, [once] annihilated, neither will itself be reborn from anything else, nor from itself bring forth another thing, if indeed it is required that all things arise from the beginning. Hence it follows -- if the beginning of motion is to be from itself *-- that it must be moved by itself. And it neither can be born, nor die; or else it is inevitable that all heaven and all nature should cease and fall into ruin, and neither could it obtain any power, by which first impulse it would be moved.

Since it is therefore clear that the thing which is moved by its very self is eternal, who is there, who could deny that this quality [or property, nature, etc.] is given to souls? For every thing is inanimate, which is set into motion by an external impulse; but what is living is driven by its own internal motion; for this is the unique property of the soul and of power. Which [power], if it is the one [thing] ** -- out of all things -- that moves itself, it surely was not born and is eternal.

* I'm assuming this is a purpose clause (or something similar)?
** I wasn't sure about this because unum should really be in neuter if it's just a "thing" among other "things" -- but perhaps it's required to agree here with vis/quae (from the previous sentence)?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Nam quod semper movetur, aeternum est.
For what is always moved is eternal.
It's middle sense; you can translate it as "what always moves".
Quod autem motum affert alicui, quodque ipsum agitatur aliunde, quando finem habet motus, vivendi finem habeat necesse est.
And what conveys motion to anything, that very thing -- whatever it be -- is itself set into motion from some other source; when motion has an end, it is inevitable there should be an end to life.
"But what conveys motion to something, and (what) is itself set into motion from some other source, must inevitably have an end of living when it has an end of motion." Or less literally, maybe something like: "But what conveys motion to something and is itself put into motion by something else, must inevitably stop living when it stops moving."
numquam ne moveri quidem desinit.
surely never ceases to be moved.
Ne... quidem = "not even", or sometimes (which seems more appropriate here), "not either".

Here too, as well as in the next sentence, you could say "move" instead of "be moved".
nam ex principio oriuntur omnia, ipsum autem nulla ex re alia nasci potest
for out of the beginning all things arise, but it itself can be born out of no other thing
I feel "and" would fit better than "but".
Quodsi numquam oritur, ne occidit quidem umquam.
Which [i.e. the beginning], if it was never born, surely never perishes.
Quod could or could not refer to the beginning, actually. Quodsi is found as a "transition" expression, literally something like "as to which (matter just mentioned), if..." = "and if" or "but if". The editor of your text seems to have taken it like that, otherwise they wouldn't have written it in one word. But actually there isn't really a way to tell here, since it could also agree with principium; now it doesn't really change the translation anyway.
Same thing I said above concering ne... quidem.
Oritur is present.
"And if it is never born, it never perishes either."
Ita fit, ut motus principium ex eo sit, quod ipsum a se movetur.
Hence it follows -- if the beginning of motion is to be from itself *-- that it must be moved by itself.
* I'm assuming this is a purpose clause (or something similar)?
"Hence it follows that the beginning of motion is from that which is moved by itself."
Is, ea, id never means "him/her/itself".
The ut clause is a result clause.
vel concidat omne caelum omnisque natura et consistat necesse est nec vim ullam nanciscatur, qua a primo impulsa moveatur.
or else it is inevitable that all heaven and all nature should cease and fall into ruin, and neither could it obtain any power, by which first impulse it would be moved.
There's no "could". Nanciscatur is still depending on necesse est: "... and meet/find/obtain not force/power by which..."
Impulsa is a participle agreeing with natura.
A primo= "first" (adverbially).
nam haec est propria natura animi atque vis.
for this is the unique property of the soul and of power.
"For this is the peculiar property and power of the soul."
** I wasn't sure about this because unum should really be in neuter if it's just a "thing" among other "things" -- but perhaps it's required to agree here with vis/quae (from the previous sentence)?
Yes.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
"But what conveys motion to something, and (what) is itself set into motion from some other source, must inevitably have an end of living when it has an end of motion." Or less literally, maybe something like: "But what conveys motion to something and is itself put into motion by something else, must inevitably stop living when it stops moving."
Ah, that makes more sense. I keep forgetting that 4th declension M/F nominative & genitive is identical (and had a similar issue with vis, later...)
Quodque here still confuses me. Is it "quod + que" (i.e. "and which"...) or a single word ("whatever")?

The ut clause is a result clause.
Sigh. I'm still hoping to get one of these right sometime... :hide:

Impulsa is a participle agreeing with natura.
A primo= "first" (adverbially).
Oh, ok: "from the first", I guess. But I don't see how the impulsa works. "By which it [nature], having been pushed/driven/impelled from the first, could [now] be moved?" I guess it makes sense, it just seems sort of redundant and weird... :doh:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Quodque here still confuses me. Is it "quod + que" (i.e. "and which"...) or a single word ("whatever")?
"And which".
Oh, ok: "from the first", I guess. But I don't see how the impulsa works. "By which it [nature], having been pushed/driven/impelled from the first, could [now] be moved?" I guess it makes sense, it just seems sort of redundant and weird... :doh:
The sentence was a bit confusing to me as well, but it should be something like (literally): "by which first impelled it could be moved" — maybe reformulate as: "by which it could be first impelled (or maybe still more freely "from which it could receive the first impulse") and be moved".
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
Oh, ok: "from the first", I guess. But I don't see how the impulsa works. "By which it [nature], having been pushed/driven/impelled from the first, could [now] be moved?" I guess it makes sense, it just seems sort of redundant and weird...
There's no redundancy if you understand movetur to be middle voice, as it has been previously throughout the passage.

'...and not meet with any force by which [needing to be] first impelled it may move.'
'...and not meet with any force from whose initiating impulse it could attain motion.'
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
There's no redundancy if you understand movetur to be middle voice
I actually considered that; but it seems inconsistent since earlier in the passage it referred to a thing that moves itself, not something that is moved by another thing. Whereas the entire point in this final sentence is that, if this first impulse/cause were to perish, then the remainder of the universe (i.e. omne caelum omnisque natura) could not obtain power from anything else (i.e. some other source) by which it could be (passively) impelled, i.e. by this other force/object, to move (since it is not the single source/beginning that moves itself).

(Note: edited for clarity).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
But I suppose it can still just continue moving more or less on its own after having been first impelled.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
I actually considered that; but it seems inconsistent since earlier in the passage it referred to a thing that moves itself, not something that is moved by another thing. Whereas the entire point in this final sentence is that, if this first impulse/cause were to perish, then the remainder of the universe (i.e. omne caelum omnisque natura) could not obtain power from anything else (i.e. some other source) by which it could be (passively) impelled, i.e. by this other force/object, to move (since it is not the single source/beginning that moves itself).

(Note: edited for clarity).
Sorry, I don't understand. Where is the inconsistency?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
She thought that only the first "beginning of motion" could "move" (by itself ) and that all other things had to "be moved" passively.
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
She thought that only the first "beginning of motion" could "move" (by itself ) and that all other things had to "be moved" passively.
Now I'm even more confused, because that's essentially correct. The idea is that nothing else can perpetually be in motion without the Aristotelian prime mover. It's essentially a deistic argument.

Wait a second, I think I see the problem. She misunderstands the middle voice. By middle voice I meant it exactly the way I translated it, as just 'moves' without a direct object ('be in motion') as opposed to 'is moved', which can only be passive in English. The active voice of movere can't be used this way because it's always causative in Latin. The middle, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily imply that the thing is moving itself, just that it's in motion. It's no different from 'move' without a direct object in English.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Maybe she was taking the difference between "to move" and "to be moved" too strictly, yes.

If you give an impulse to something so that you move it, you can also say that you make it move, and even that it moves, even though it's been caused by you and it didn't start moving itself by itself.

The bolded verbs above have middle voice meaning; it's the same in Latin except that you'd use passive forms there to express the same middle sense idea and not active ones like in English.

It's true that I explained the middle voice to Callaina as being basically the subject acting on itself, but it doesn't necessarily mean something caused voluntarily by the subject; it can be something that happens like that "in the subject" more or less without there being really an agent considered... just like when you say that something "moves" (= is in motion) or "changes" (= undergoes a change)...
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Wait a second, I think I see the problem. She misunderstands the middle voice.
Indeed, that was it.

By middle voice I meant it exactly the way I translated it, as just 'moves' without a direct object ('be in motion') as opposed to 'is moved', which can only be passive in English. The active voice of movere can't be used this way because it's always causative in Latin.
Ah, ok, so it's always transitive -- so if something is just to "move", period (either moving itself or just moving, for whatever reason) it has to use the middle voice.

It's true that I explained the middle voice to Callaina as being basically the subject acting on itself but it doesn't necessarily mean something caused voluntarily by the subject; it can be something that happens like that "in the subject" more or less without there being really an agent considered... just like when you say that something "moves" (= is in motion) or "changes" (= undergoes a change)...
Okay, this is starting to make more sense. Going back to that thread from Revelation:

The passive voice is sometimes used in what's called "middle sense" — that is, when the subject acts upon itself. Some languages, like ancient Greek , have three voices: active, middle, and passive. In Latin, the middle and the passive got kind of fused — at least some meanings of the middle — (hence things like conversus sum = "I turned (myself)"), whereas in English the middle and the active got fused (hence things like "I turned").
This is what had confused me; but I think I've starting to get it pinned down mentally. So, if I've grasped this correctly, any verb in Latin with a transitive meaning in the active voice ("I move X"), can't generally have an intransitive meaning in the active voice as well ("I move")? You have to use the middle voice (i.e. passive) to signify the intransitive use of the verb (as well as to actually signify a passive, e.g. "I am moved").
(Which explains stuff like invehor, from way up in the thread...)

...But there are deponent verbs that take direct objects -- i.e. are transitive -- which doesn't seem to fit into this system at all. How the heck did that come about? :doh:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
This is what had confused me; but I think I've starting to get it pinned down mentally. So, if I've grasped this correctly, any verb in Latin with a transitive meaning in the active voice ("I move X"), can't generally have an intransitive meaning in the active voice as well ("I move")? You have to use the middle voice (i.e. passive) to signify the intransitive use of the verb (as well as to actually signify a passive, e.g. "I am moved").
(Which explains stuff like invehor, from way up in the thread...)
In the great majority of cases, yes.
...But there are deponent verbs that take direct objects -- i.e. are transitive -- which doesn't seem to fit into this system at all. How the heck did that come about? :doh:
Here we come to my "at least some meanings of the middle"...

Deponent verbs originally come from middle voice, as I think IR explained to you somewhere. Now the middle voice originally (it still did so in Greek) served to express not only the subject acting on itself (voluntarily or not) and all that stuff we've been talking about, but also an action you did for yourself or that affected yourself particularly, as in e.g. "to take something for oneself". That's where transitive deponent verbs come from. Then they extended to some uses where the for oneself meaning was no longer really there.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Great, this makes much better sense now. Thank you both for the in-depth explanations (and for taking the time to make this comprehensible for me!) :)
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
And the final paragraph! :)

(29) Hanc tu exerce optimis in rebus! Sunt autem optimae curae de salute patriae; quibus agitatus et exercitatus animus velocius in hanc sedem et domum suam pervolabit; idque ocius faciet, si iam tum, cum erit inclusus in corpore, eminebit foras et ea, quae extra erunt, contemplans quam maxime se a corpore abstrahet. Namque eorum animi, qui se corporis voluptatibus dediderunt earumque se quasi ministros praebuerunt impulsuque libidinum voluptatibus oboedientium** deorum et hominum iura violaverunt, corporibus elapsi circum terram ipsam volutantur*** nec hunc in locum nisi multis exagitati saeculis revertuntur.'
Ille discessit; ego somno solutus sum.

Employ this [i.e. the power of free will discussed above] in the greatest things! And they [i.e. the greatest things] are the greatest pains taken for the well-being of the nation -- driven and agitated by which [pains] the soul will more quickly fly to this abode and its home; and it shall do this more swiftly if even now -- though still confined in the body -- it shall reach outward and, contemplating those things that are beyond, withdraw itself from the body as much as possible. For the souls of those who dedicated themselves to the pleasures of the body and acted like their servants, and who, by the impulse of their desires for pleasure, violated the laws of the attentive* gods and of men, once released from their bodies, [are forced to] circle** around the very earth and do not return into this place without having been tormented for many ages."
He departed; I was released from sleep.

* Apparently this usually means "obedient, compliant" which seems like a weird adjective to apply to gods -- this was the most likely meaning I could think of...
** I couldn't figure out whether this was meant more as passive or middle voice. But "are rolled around the earth" or "are spun around the earth" sounds a bit weird in English, and the general idea -- I think -- is that they're being forced to orbit the Earth (i.e. as a punishment) so I settled on this...
 

Imber Ranae

Ranunculus Iracundus
It looks like oboedientium rather agrees with libidinum.
 
Top