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'Quod'

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'Quod'

Postby Thucydides » Tue May 11, 2004 4:44 pm

Caesar Gallic War I.3

"In eo itinere, persuadet Castico, Sequano, cuius pater regnum in Sequanis moltos annos obtinuerat et a senatu 'populi Romani amicus' appellatus erat, ut regnum in civititate sua occuparet quod pater habuerat"

Meaning:

"On that journey, he persuaded Casticus, a Sequanian, whose father had held a kingdom among the Sequanians for many years and had been named by the senate "friend of the Roman people", to seize the kingdom in his state which his father had had".

Is there any way (other than sense) that we can tell that quod here means which and not because? I'm reliably informed that there is, and there's something of a contest on at the moment to find the answer.

If only I had a decent grammar...

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Postby chad » Wed May 12, 2004 12:40 am

hi thucydides, i think that habuerat would be in the subjunctive, rather than indicative, if quod meant because, since it would be a causal clause where the reason given is on the authority of Orgetorix, not of Caesar the author (in which case it'd be indicative as it is here). see A&G s 540:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... d%3D%23380

but my latin is pretty bad, u might want to get a latin person here to give u the definitive answer. :)
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Postby KohlyKohl » Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 am

Honestly does it really matter? Translating something into another language requires you to use the word that best makes sense for your language. Also rules are just there for a guide, doesn't always mean they are right or the author didn't use a word that back then ment something different then what the rules say it should. There are many many examples of this in english so why wouldn't there be some in Latin?
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Postby Thucydides » Wed May 12, 2004 5:09 pm

I thought exactly what you thought Chad.

Nonetheless my source is has a doctorate in Latin from Oxford University, and I've never known him to be wrong before...
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Postby benissimus » Wed May 12, 2004 7:15 pm

chad wrote:hi thucydides, i think that habuerat would be in the subjunctive, rather than indicative, if quod meant because, since it would be a causal clause where the reason given is on the authority of Orgetorix, not of Caesar the author (in which case it'd be indicative as it is here).

I think you are confusing habuerat with habuerit, as habuerat can only be a pluperfect indicative.

KohlyKohl wrote:"Honestly does it really matter? Translating something into another language requires you to use the word that best makes sense for your language. Also rules are just there for a guide, doesn't always mean they are right or the author didn't use a word that back then ment something different then what the rules say it should. There are many many examples of this in english so why wouldn't there be some in Latin?

I agree that meanings are more important than English words, but because we are not fluent in Latin, we are better off discussing ambiguities than forgetting that they are there.


"On that journey, he persuaded Casticus, a Sequanian, whose father had held a kingdom among the Sequanians for many years and had been named by the senate "friend of the Roman people", to seize the kingdom in his state which his father had had".

If the quod is relative, then we have the above. If the quod is causal, then we have instead because his father had had (it). These can obviously transform the meanings of the text. In the former, there is talk of regaining the kingdom once held by the man's father; in the latter, this same man would be retaking a kingdom apparently by filial right.
Last edited by benissimus on Wed May 12, 2004 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby KohlyKohl » Wed May 12, 2004 7:20 pm

Very true. It is better to get the basics down first before you go around putting things in the order you want to make it sound better.
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Postby Thucydides » Wed May 12, 2004 9:07 pm

I think you are confusing habuerat with habuerit, as habuerat can only be a pluperfect indicative


No. He is saying that if it meant because the verb might well have gone into the subjunctive to indicate some kind of authorial doubt; a so-called "alleged" reason
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Postby Democritus » Wed May 12, 2004 9:18 pm

benissimus wrote:If the quod is causal, then we have instead because his father had had (it).


If quod is a conjunction, then habuerat has no explicit object. If we were composing this sentence (in Latin), wouldn't we have included some explicit pronoun referring back to regnum? Pronouns are nice little words. Why skip the pronoun here? If quod isn't the object, then the object is missing.

I don't know, but my guess is that we need an explicit object for habuerat, if not for grammatical reasons, then just for clarity.

Of course, if quod is a relative pronoun, then we are missing 'because' or any other explicit word indicating cause. But this ellipsis feels much better to me than the missing pronoun.

Just taking a guess. Don't know if this intuition is correct. :)
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Postby Thucydides » Wed May 12, 2004 9:25 pm

Mmmmmm. Habeo is an inherently transitive verb (with the exception of a few habeo + adverb phrases).

I wonder if that's the answer. It seems slightly too simple.
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Postby chad » Thu May 13, 2004 12:32 am

Mmmmmm. Habeo is an inherently transitive verb (with the exception of a few habeo + adverb phrases).

I wonder if that's the answer. It seems slightly too simple.


hi thucydides, i think you were right with your first assumption, and the one i suggested: that, if quod meant because (and so the following words form a causal clause), that the verb would be in the subjunctive, not in the indicative as here. did your friend disagree?

i don't think the lack of an object is the problem here. in latin and greek the object is often omitted where it's obvious, and particularly with caesar--he doesn't waste too many words. check out this article about the omission of the object in latin (which gives an example from the gallic wars):

http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/pies/pdfs/IE ... S_2003.pdf

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby chad » Thu May 13, 2004 2:10 am

...btw, to rule out other possibilities, i don't think the reason quod isn't "because" is that the verb is finite rather than infinite. in greek (and in latin as well i think) authors sometimes drop into the indirect discourse, and so use acc + inf, without using a direct verb. the acc + inf is such a clear use of the indirect that they don't need to put the direct in at all. but i just went and looked up a few latin grammars on the subjunctive of quoted reason and it doesn't seem like you need to use an infinite verb: i saw an example of "liberassem" (finite subjunctive plup following quod used in a causal clause). so the reason quod isn't "because" isn't because the verb is finite (and because pater rather than patrem is used).

and also the problem isn't the idiomatic use of quod rather than another word for "because": i checked that as well. caesar in all cases but one uses quod rather than quia in such cases. so the reason isn't caesar's choice of the word for "because".

i think the reason quod isn't "because" is, as i said above, the use of the indicative, rather than a subjunctive or another construction, maybe using the passive. i'd like to know the proper answer tho: i'm just getting back into latin after a year of focusing on greek, and it's by learning about these nuances that you start to feel comfortable in a language.
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Postby Pete » Thu May 13, 2004 2:57 am

Chad, I think I agree with you competely, and when I read the first post here my mind went to the same section of A&G (causal particles) that you linked to. I don't see how this isn't convincing. Pronouns are useless, and they are left out all the time in Latin, as far as I have seen. I am always supplying an extra "it" in my translations, which I always put in brackets (dutifully staying as literal as I can).

Thucydides, I don't see how this implies that your teacher is wrong (as you said in the fourth post of this thread)... it seems rather to confirm what he said (i.e. that there is a way to tell that quod is relative rather than conjunctive).

But if your reliable, Oxonian-doctorated professor gives you a different solution when the game is up, please tell us! This is something good to know. In fact, tell us if he likes this answer (the subjunctive-in-reported-causes rule), too.
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Postby MickeyV » Sun May 16, 2004 8:38 pm

chad wrote:hi thucydides, i think that habuerat would be in the subjunctive, rather than indicative, if quod meant because, since it would be a causal clause where the reason given is on the authority of Orgetorix, not of Caesar the author (in which case it'd be indicative as it is here). see A&G s 540:

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt ... d%3D%23380

but my latin is pretty bad, u might want to get a latin person here to give u the definitive answer. :)


That is actually incorrect, I'm afraid.

Evidently, the quod-clause in this example ("In eo itinere, persuadet Castico, Sequano, cuius pater regnum in Sequanis moltos annos obtinuerat et a senatu 'populi Romani amicus' appellatus erat, ut regnum in civititate sua occuparet quod pater habuerat") does not represent (virtual) indirect discourse (O. O.). Had it been O. O., then, as you correctly assumed, the subjunctive would have been in place. But, if the quod-clause here would have been quoted from Orgetorix, it would have been O. O. irrespective of meaning, that is, irrespective whether quod means "because" or, as a relative clause "(the reign) which".

That is, if Orgetorix' O. R. was: "regnum in mea civitate occupa, quod pater habuit", O. O. would have been: "Orgetorix Castico persuadet ut occuparet regnum quod pater habuisset", wherein the quod-clause may be causal or relative.
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Postby Thucydides » Sun May 16, 2004 9:15 pm

Now here's a thought. Since the habuerat is indicative, the clause is either:

(i) not part of the original speech, and an authorial relative clause
(ii) part of the original speech, but a conjunction and so not subordinated.

The aim of this problem is to prove that it has to be (i) (and of course alternatively to prove that (ii) is impossible).

Now if the case were (ii), the OR would have been "occupy the kingdom because your father previously held it" and not "occupy the kingdom, because your father previously had held it" (that sounds odd and is tautologous) Thus we would expect the hab- verb to be imperfect or perfect and not pluperfect. This seems to be prove (ii) impossible and thus make (i) the only possiblity.
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Postby Thucydides » Sun May 16, 2004 9:18 pm

Oh no!

I've just realised that there's an "ante" in the sentence which I left out of my first post!

SORRY!
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Postby chad » Mon May 17, 2004 12:14 am

That is actually incorrect, I'm afraid.

Evidently, the quod-clause in this example ("In eo itinere, persuadet Castico, Sequano, cuius pater regnum in Sequanis moltos annos obtinuerat et a senatu 'populi Romani amicus' appellatus erat, ut regnum in civititate sua occuparet quod pater habuerat") does not represent (virtual) indirect discourse (O. O.). Had it been O. O., then, as you correctly assumed, the subjunctive would have been in place. But, if the quod-clause here would have been quoted from Orgetorix, it would have been O. O. irrespective of meaning, that is, irrespective whether quod means "because" or, as a relative clause "(the reign) which".


hi mickey, could u please explain this further to me? i agree with what u said, but i think it confirms the initial suggestion rather than undermining it. if habuisset was given, then it would be a subjunctive of Orgetorix's reason (and so indirect speech), and thus quod would be "because". but here habuerat is given, and so quod doesn't appear to be "because", but rather a simple relative pronoun (and so direct speech)--not quoting Orgetorix's reason at all, and so not in indirect speech.

so the use of direct speech indicates that quod is a relative pronoun rather than "because". the qn was how do we know that quod here isn't "because", and i think the answer is the mood of the verb.
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Postby MickeyV » Mon May 17, 2004 2:36 pm

chad wrote:
That is actually incorrect, I'm afraid.

Evidently, the quod-clause in this example ("In eo itinere, persuadet Castico, Sequano, cuius pater regnum in Sequanis moltos annos obtinuerat et a senatu 'populi Romani amicus' appellatus erat, ut regnum in civititate sua occuparet quod pater habuerat") does not represent (virtual) indirect discourse (O. O.). Had it been O. O., then, as you correctly assumed, the subjunctive would have been in place. But, if the quod-clause here would have been quoted from Orgetorix, it would have been O. O. irrespective of meaning, that is, irrespective whether quod means "because" or, as a relative clause "(the reign) which".


hi mickey, could u please explain this further to me? i agree with what u said, but i think it confirms the initial suggestion rather than undermining it. if habuisset was given, then it would be a subjunctive of Orgetorix's reason (and so indirect speech), and thus quod would be "because". but here habuerat is given, and so quod doesn't appear to be "because", but rather a simple relative pronoun (and so direct speech)--not quoting Orgetorix's reason at all, and so not in indirect speech.

so the use of direct speech indicates that quod is a relative pronoun rather than "because". the qn was how do we know that quod here isn't "because", and i think the answer is the mood of the verb.


The thing is, "habuisset" would have indicated only that the quod-clause was of indirect discourse. Conversely, the fact that the quod-clause is actually in the indicative, reflects only that the quod-clause is a direct assertion of Caesar. Therefore, the quod-clause in question, abstracted from the context, could be both relative and causal, but in both cases, the words come, so to speak, ex ore Caesaris. If it is relative, Caesar simply gives us information, on his own authority, of the "regnum" in question, i. e., that the father of Orgetorix had held it. If it is causal, Caesar, not Orgetorix, tells us the reason for Orgetorix' giving of the regnum to Casticus. Be mindful, that the mere fact that the supplied reason is attributed to Orgetorix, need certainly not entail, that Orgetorix himself expressed himself concerning that reason. If, for instance, John does this or that, I may well, on my own authority, state my view with regards to John's motivation to act as he did.
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Postby chad » Mon May 17, 2004 11:38 pm

thanks 4 that. i'll still rest with the point i made in my first post... from the context it seems to me that, if this is a causal clause, it could only really be Orgetorix's quoted reason, not Caesar's.

i don't think in the context this could be a causal clause in the indicative on Caesar's authority: it wouldn't fit the sentence. it's possible grammatically that the causal clause could be on caesar's authority, but it doesn't make sense if you read the sentence and the surrounding ones don't u think?

but if quod is a relative pronoun, it could be either Caesar's amplification or indirect discourse of Orgetorix as you said. it doesn't matter tho: either way, if it's a causal clause, to me it would be in the subjunctive, and since it's not, "quod" is not "because", answering the initial question.

but since i've been corrected several times now in this topic, unless someone suggests the correct answer i'll wait to see what thucydides' friend gives as the right response. :)
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