Tacitus Annals 1.14 - 'quo minus...ea causa'

Phoebus Apollo

Civis Illustris
at Germanico Caesari pro consulare imperium petivit, missique legati qui deferrent, simul maestitiam eius ob excessum Augusti solarentur. quo minus idem pro Druso postularetur, ea causa quod designatus consul Drusus praesensque erat.

I just wanted to double check my literal translation of the last line is correct. quo minus...ea causa is throwing me off a bit.

Lewis and Short says that 'quo minus' means 'that not' - although it does say this comes after verbs of hindering/preventing, which doesn't seem to be the case here?

I take 'ea causa' to be 'that reason' and is the subject of erat.

So with this in mind I've got:

'That the same was not demanded on behalf of Caesar, that reason was because Drusus (was) consul designate and present)'
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
I would take ea causa as an ablative and expect some elliptic 'fuit', 'factum est' or 'evenit' there ...

"The fact that he did not demand the same thing for Drusus happened for that reason that Drusus had been made consul and that he was present."
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
No, it's not a relative pronoun that refers to causa in any way. It is a conjunction meaning 'because', it's just not easy to render that in English.

It falls in line with constructions like

idcirco, quod ...
praeterea, quod ...
ob eam causam, quod ...

maybe instead of taking it as 'because', it could also be taken as a quod explicativum ... but that's a term I've just made up and I don't know if you can find it anywhere: But it explains explains what the 'reason' is based on.
 

rothbard

Civis Illustris
Staff member
The edition In Usum Delphini renders it as follows (see here):
Cur non peteretur eadem potestas pro Druso in causa fuit, quod destinatus consul Drusus et praesens in urbe esset.
By the way, note (r) at the bottom of the page indicates that this passage has confused some critics as well.
 

Arthegall

New Member
This post proposes that the quod clause is a noun clause in apposition to causa.

at Germanico Caesari proconsulare imperium petivit,
missique legati qui deferrent,
simul maestitiam eius ob excessum Augusti solarentur.
quo minus idem pro Druso postularetur,
ea causa quod designatus consul Drusus praesensque erat.

But on the contrary [ie, against Augusta] he requested proconsular command for Germanicus
Caesar,
and emissaries were dispatched who would convey the information
and at the same time offer condolences for his sorrow on the death of Augustus.
For which the same [requesting and sending] was <the less or not quite or not exactly or not>
required for Drusus,
for this reason that Drusus was an elected consul and was already there.

deferrent, OLD 8c, when used as absolute: to convey or lodge information
quod as "that" in apposition, Allen and Greenough §572, Roby §1703
quod as "that" in apposition, OLD 2b, when introducing a clause amplifying a noun in the main sentence
ea causa is ablative - due to this reason

---

Here is another example of a causa quod clause and apposition.
Cicero pro Milo 29
...se fecisse libertatis omnium causa quod esset non confitendum modo sed etiam vere
praedicandum.
...he had acted for the reason of the freedom of all a fact that is not to be confessed only but also
rightly proclaimed.
...[or to employ the idiom causa facere] he had acted in the interests of the freedom of all a fact
that is not to be confessed only but also rightly proclaimed.
In the second translation the English apposition clause is in apposition to its English main clause.
The subjunctive esset is due to indirect discourse.
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
Here is another example of a causa quod clause and apposition.
Cicero pro Milo 29
...se fecisse libertatis omnium causa quod esset non confitendum modo sed etiam vere
praedicandum.
...he had acted for the reason of the freedom of all a fact that is not to be confessed only but also
rightly proclaimed.
The speech is called pro Milone.
That's a bad example, though, because in that Cicero sentence causa acts as a (postponed) preposition with a final meaning and the quod clause is simply a relative clause that is the direct object of fecisse and bears no connection to causa.

...[or to employ the idiom causa facere] he had acted in the interests of the freedom of all a fact
that is not to be confessed only but also rightly proclaimed.
'causa facere' is not an idiom.

In the second translation the English apposition clause is in apposition to its English main clause.

I'm not sure if that makes any sense at all.
 
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