Redundant legens



Here is a sentence from Cicero's De Officiis that I find a bit perplexing: tamen nostra legens non multum a Peripateticis dissidentia, quoniam utrique Socratici et Platonici volumus esse, de rebus ipsis utere tuo iudicio (nihil enim impedio), orationem autem Latinam efficies profecto legendis nostris pleniorem."

My trouble is translating the present active participle legens. No matter how I translate it, it seems to be redundant with regard to final phrase nostris legendis. For example:

"When you read our books, which differ little from that of the Peripatetics since we both wish to belong to the Platonic and Socratic schools -- with regard to the details use your own judgment (for I obstruct nothing) -- you will nevertheless accomplish Latin oration by reading our works (redundant instrumental phrase)."

Can you help me out with what I'm doing wrong here?



  • Civis Illustris

I would point out that the word could also be utēre to match the futurity of efficiēs, and this might lessen the perceived redundancy. Also, if in English it sounds bad, you have every right to translate with a pronoun instead, as long as it's clear what you mean:

'When reading our works... you will (have to) use your own judgement regarding etc.; but yet (autem) (no matter what opinion you have of them) you will surely make (your) Latin fuller (pleniorem) by reading them (i.e. our works).

But this sort of thing is perfectly okay in English, if done for the sake of emphasis/clarity of diction, e.g.:
"You make think my work is bad; however, I care little what your opinion of my work is."
(that sounds like something Wittgenstein would write :D )