quid/quod...orario recta/obliqua???

massimo.p

Member
Here is a sentence from Cicero's De Officio:

Nec vero illa parva vis naturae est rationisque , quod unum hoc animal sentit, quid sit ordo, quid sit, quod deceat, in factis dictisque qui modus.

And here is my best attempt at translating it:

"And truly this faculty of nature and reason is not insignificant since this animal alone understands that there is order (which is fitting), that there is some measure both in word and deed.

I'm having difficulty with the quid and quod as well as direct or indirect discourse. I realize that this translation is far less than eloquent, but I am more concerned as to its accuracy.

Can anyone help?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The first quod means "(the fact) that": "it is no insignificant faculty of nature and reason that this animal alone understands..."

Quid is an interrogative pronoun meaning "what". It can introduce either a direct or an indirect question; here they are indirect ones. Quid sit ordo = what is order; quid sit... = what it is...

The second quod is a relative pronoun, whith quid as an antecedent. Quid sit quod deceat = "what it is that is befitting/appropriate/right".

Qui is an interrogative adjective in agreement with modus. Qui modus = what measure.
 

massimo.p

Member
One question: does "deceat" also govern "qui modus?"

"What measure is fitting in word and deed (in those things done and said).
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
There's more likely to simply be a sit implied in that clause, since the indirect question in factis dictisque qui modus is syntactically parallel to the other two indirect questions, not to the relative clause quod deceat.
 

massimo.p

Member
Thank you so much, but could I ask you just one more question? Insofar as each indirect question appears to be the direct object of the verb "sentit," why isn't "qui modus" in the accusative?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
An indirect question has its own conjugated verb with a nominative subject.
 
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