Tacitus Historiae 1

Katarina

Member
Mihi Galba Otho Vitellius nec beneficio nec iniuria cogniti. dignitatem nostram a Vespasiano inchoatam, a Tito auctam, a Domitiano longius provectam non abnuerim: sed incorruptam fidem professis neque amore quisquam et sine odio dicendus est. Quod si vita suppeditet, principatum divi Nervae et imperium Traiani, uberiorem securioremque materiam, senectuti seposui, rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet.

How do you understand this quod. I think the sentence would function well without it at the same time I have no good idea what it woul reffer to. My only idea is to put it as apposition with materiam. Any thoughts?
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
“Quod si” is a standard phrase meaning “but if” or “and if”. Quod is a strange accusative of respect/adverbial accusative.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
The phrase is common but the grammar behind it is a little odd. There’s a lot of very standard Latin phrasings that I might call strange.
 
The phrase is common but the grammar behind it is a little odd. There’s a lot of very standard Latin phrasings that I might call strange.

If by "strange" you mean that it doesn't work the way it does in other languages, then yes. But it's not strange Latin, it's normal Latin, and it's up to us to learn it.
 

Godmy

A Monkey
I don't think he even meant to say that, Gryllus (that is, nobody doubts it's a pretty standard Latin). What he said is that the "quod" won't have a predictable meaning to the learners, predictable as in solely based on its main/original meaning as a relative pronoun without any further knowledge of its submeaning in this particular phrase, that a meaning shift has occurred in here. I don't think you need to nitpick it any further.
 
Well, I don't need to nitpick any further, but I think how we talk about Latin is important, and calling something strange that's perfectly normal in the language is not helpful. I've seen strange Latin, and that ain't it.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
You can find a construction strange even if it's normal in the language in question. This can even happen in your native language.

I see where you're coming from, Gryllus, but I think there was just miscommunication between Dantius and you in this case. It has all been cleared up now: Dantius didn't mean to say the construction was strange as in being unusual Latin but just strange in general, in his subjective appreciation.
 

Katarina

Member
Sed patres laeti, usurpata statim libertate licentius ut erga principem novum et absentem;

I can't undersand this part of sentence.
The senators were happy, _____ in regard that the new princeps was absent. I thought of abl. absol. but I can't find a meaning. Also libertas and licentia are a bit similar words and I don't know what to do with them. Any help?
 

Bitmap

Civis Illustris
It is an ablative absolute, and it is crypto-active, i.e. the passive construction needs to be read as an active action by the senators.

The situation is (from what I gather looking at the whole text quickly) that Nero had committed suicide after the senate had supported Galba, who declared himself princeps in Spain.

The more or less literal translation would be
But the senators were happy, having made use of their freedom (usurpata libertate) in a rather unrestrained manner (licentius), [...]
and at this point, the English would probably need a bit of rephrasing ... I think you have came up with such an ut question before. There's no good single word translation. It means something like 'as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps.'
I cannot think of a good translation that would reflect the Latin grammar somehow.
The meaning in the historical context seems to be that the senators were happy to boldly (licentius) demonstrate their indepence/self-determination (considering their support brought down Nero) and that they were encouraged in doing so by the fact that the new princeps was not only new in office, but that he was not even in Rome.

There may be people who have a deeper insight in the historical events than I do, though.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
I think that's pretty much it. The senators were often repressed under the Julio-Claudian emperors (and Nero supposedly threatened to destroy the entire senatorial order) and they were taking the opportunity to assert their power more under a new emperor who wasn't even in Rome.
 

Katarina

Member
It is an ablative absolute, and it is crypto-active, i.e. the passive construction needs to be read as an active action by the senators.

The situation is (from what I gather looking at the whole text quickly) that Nero had committed suicide after the senate had supported Galba, who declared himself princeps in Spain.

The more or less literal translation would be
But the senators were happy, having made use of their freedom (usurpata libertate) in a rather unrestrained manner (licentius), [...]
and at this point, the English would probably need a bit of rephrasing ... I think you have came up with such an ut question before. There's no good single word translation. It means something like 'as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps.'
I cannot think of a good translation that would reflect the Latin grammar somehow.
The meaning in the historical context seems to be that the senators were happy to boldly (licentius) demonstrate their indepence/self-determination (considering their support brought down Nero) and that they were encouraged in doing so by the fact that the new princeps was not only new in office, but that he was not even in Rome.

There may be people who have a deeper insight in the historical events than I do, though.
Licentius is an adverb? How do we understand the comparative?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Licentius is an adverb? How do we understand the comparative?
Yes, it's an adverb. Latin comparatives actually don't always translate to an English comparative. They can also convey ideas like "rather..." or "too...".
And also does this meaning of ut as you have explained it actually a meaning of ut erga?
No, ut erga isn't a unit, if that's what you mean. Ut has its meaning by itself.
 

Katarina

Member
No, ut erga isn't a unit, if that's what you mean. Ut has its meaning by itself.
:think:

and at this point, the English would probably need a bit of rephrasing ... I think you have came up with such an ut question before. There's no good single word translation. It means something like 'as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps.'
I was reffering to this. I know that ut is a word in itself. I was asking if when saying that ut means 'as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps' was actually a meaning of ut + erga or is this a meaning of sole ut and erga means something else.

I think you have came up with such an ut question before.
Yes, I have. I have bought a latin-slovene dictionary few days ago and I get it next week. For sure I will first read the 'ut' section. :mrgreen:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I was reffering to this. I know that ut is a word in itself. I was asking if when saying that ut means 'as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps' was actually a meaning of ut + erga or is this a meaning of sole ut and erga means something else.
I'm not sure I follow you, but:

"as would be normal/ as could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken towards a new and absent princeps" is a translation of the whole phrase ut erga principem novum et absentem.

It can be broken up like this (the part in brackets are words that have no equivalent in the Latin but are necessary to make the meaning understandable in English):

"as (ut) [could be expected in a situation where their actions were taken] towards (erga) a new and absent emperor (principem novum et absentem)"
 

Katarina

Member
Tacitus is so hard! I have been puzzeling 2 sentencess for 6 hours. :confused: I am a bit stuck.

Miles urbanus longo Caesarum sacramento imbutus et ad destituendum Neronem arte magis et impulsu quam suo ingenio traductus, postquam neque dari donativum sub nomine Galbae promissum neque magnis meritis ac praemiis eundem in pace quem in bello locum praeventam gratiam intellegit apud pricipem a legionibus factum, pronus ad novas res scelere insuper Nymphidii Sabini praefecti imperium sibi molientis agitatur.

1.) what goes with intellegit?
- donativum promissum sub nomine Galbae non dari
Then it is all gone. I can't put it together even gramatically.
:help:
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Some versions on Google have praeventamque gratiam, and it reads better that way.
 
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