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Pliny, Letter II.6

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Pliny, Letter II.6

Postby Shenoute » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:34 am

Hello,

I am reading Pliny the Younger's Letters and have trouble understanding the exact construction and meaning of a sentence in Book II, Letter 6.
Pliny complains about the dinner he was treated to recently, most notably the fact the his host tried to reduce expenses by serving different qualities of food and wines to different peoples. This, Pliny comments, is not the way to save. Instead,

Et hercule si gulae temperes, non est onerosum quo utaris ipse communicare cum pluribus. Illa ergo reprimenda, illa quasi in ordinem redigenda est, si sumptibus parcas, quibus aliquanto rectius tua continentia quam aliena contumelia consulas.

To paraphrase the first part: "If you restrain your appetite, it is not expensive to share with others what you use yourself. This [the appetite] is what needs to be checked, this is what needs to be kept in reins, if you are to cut back on expenses; (...)"

I guess my problem/question lies partly with the quibus (abl. "by which", i.e. "by restraining and keeping your appetite in order"?) and mainly with the relationship between the following ablatives and consulas.

"and by doing this, you may take rather better measures by/based on [?, abl.] your temperance rather than the shame of [i.e., the shame you may bring to] others" ?
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Re: Pliny, Letter II.6

Postby anphph » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:08 pm

consulere + dat means to provide for, take care of, etc.

So, " [...] cut back on your expenses; you would manage them better [quibus bene consulās] somewhat better [aliquanto rectius] by restraining yourself [tuā continentiā] than by offending others [quam aliēnā contumēliā]."
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Re: Pliny, Letter II.6

Postby Shenoute » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:26 pm

And here I was thinking that I had looked carefully enough at the entry for consulo in various dictionaries...Thanks!
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Re: Pliny, Letter II.6

Postby anphph » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:31 pm

:)

For reference, this is the L&S:

Esp., consulere alicui or alicui rei, to take care for some person or thing, to be mindful of, take care of, look to, have regard for, to counsel or consult for: tuae rei bene consulere cupio, Plaut. Trin. 3, 2, 9: quid me fiat, parvi pendis, dum illi consulas, Ter. Heaut. 4, 3, 37: qui parti civium consulunt, partem neglegunt, Cic. Off. 1, 25, 85: consulere eorum commodis et utilitati salutique servire, id. Q. Fr. 1, 1, 9, § 27; so, famae, pudicitiae tuae, id. Phil. 2, 2, 3: dignitati meae, id. Fam. 11, 29, 1: suae vitae, Caes. B. G. 7, 12: receptui sibi, id. B. C. 3, 69: reipublicae juxta ac sibi, Sall. C. 37, 8; id. J. 58, 2; Hor. Ep. 1, 17, 1: timori magis quam religioni, Caes. B. C. 1, 67; cf.: magis irae quam famae, Sall. C. 51, 7: qui mi consultum optime velit esse, Ter. Phorm. 1, 3, 1: mi ires consultum male? to counsel evil or badly, Plaut. Bacch. 3, 6, 36; so, male patriae, Nep. Epam. 10, 1; id. Phoc. 2, 2.—With si: melius consulet (sibi), si, etc., Cels. 1, 3, 55.—
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Re: Pliny, Letter II.6

Postby Shenoute » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:04 pm

Gratias tibi ago quam maximas :D
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