Textkit Logo

De Verre

Here's where you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get translation help and more!

Moderator: thesaurus

De Verre

Postby Kasper » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:18 pm

I'm reading Cicero's In Verrem, and have encountered the following. Sopater quidam is the public official of a sicilian town that has a nice statue of Mercury. Mr Verres would like to have it, and Mr Sopater would prefer that it is left alone. And so:

Refert ille [Sopater] ad senatum; vehementer undique reclamatur.

Nevertheless, Mr Verres insists on having the statue. And so:

Sopater iterum flens ad senatum rem defert, istius [Verris] cupiditatem minasque demonstrat. Senatus Sopatro responsum nullum dat.

So my question (finally) is what the difference is here between 'refert', which seems to get a positive response, and 'defert', which gets no response. Or am i imagining an importance in these words that does not exist?

gratias omnibus vobis.
K
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: De Verre

Postby thesaurus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:35 am

Kasper wrote:I'm reading Cicero's In Verrem, and have encountered the following. Sopater quidam is the public official of a sicilian town that has a nice statue of Mercury. Mr Verres would like to have it, and Mr Sopater would prefer that it is left alone. And so:

Refert ille [Sopater] ad senatum; vehementer undique reclamatur.

Nevertheless, Mr Verres insists on having the statue. And so:

Sopater iterum flens ad senatum rem defert, istius [Verris] cupiditatem minasque demonstrat. Senatus Sopatro responsum nullum dat.

So my question (finally) is what the difference is here between 'refert', which seems to get a positive response, and 'defert', which gets no response. Or am i imagining an importance in these words that does not exist?

gratias omnibus vobis.
K


I think there is a definite distinction here. In the "refert", Sopater is turning to the Senate to find an answer. In "defert", Sopater is actually relating/giving an account of what happened to the Senate... a sort of testimony. So he first appeals to the Senate and then states his case. Really, these are very similar, but probably not complete synonyms. The second just seems more evocative, especially paired with "flens."

I think this is this definition in question:
Defero wrote:2. To bring or give an account of, to report, announce, signify, state (for syn. v. declaro init.-- very freq.): qui nostra consilia ad adversarios deferat, Cic. Clu. 52 ; so, aliquid ad aliquem, id. Mil. 9 fin. ; id. Cat. 3, 3, 7; Caes. B. G. 2, 17, 4; 5, 25, 4 et saep.: ut (haec) per eos ad Caesarem deferrentur, id. ib. 7, 17 fin.; so with per, id. B. C. 3, 30, 6; 3, 63, 5 al.: qui ad Caesarem detulerint delaturive sint, me poenitere consilii mei, Cic. Att. 11, 7, 5 ; so with acc. and inf., id. Verr. 2, 5, 62; Verg. A. 4, 299 al.--
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 988
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Re: De Verre

Postby thesaurus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:45 am

I found another useful definition for "refert" here. Vide:
(b). Ad senatum de aliquā re referre (less freq with acc., a rel.-clause, or absol.), to make a motion or proposition in the Senate; to consult, refer to, or lay before the Senate; to move, bring forward, propose: VTI L. PAVLVS C. MARCELLVS COSS... DE CONSVLARIBVS PROVINCIIS AD SENATVM REFERRENT, NEVE QVID PRIVS ... AD SENATVM REFERRENT, NEVE QVID CONIVNCTVM DE EA RE REFERRETVR A CONSVLIBVS, S. C. ap. Cic. Fam. 8, 8, 5 sq.: de legibus abrogandis ad senatum referre. Cic. Cornel. 1, Fragm. 8 (p. 448 Orell.); cf.: de quo legando consules spero ad senatum relaturos, id. Imp. Pomp. 19, 58 : de ejus honore ad senatum referre, id. Phil. 8, 11, 33 : de eā re postulant uti referatur. Itaque consulente Cicerone frequens senatus decernit, etc., Sall. C. 48, 5, 6 : rem ad senatum refert, id. ib. 29, 1 ; cf.: tunc relata ex integro res ad senatum, Liv. 21, 5 : rem ad senatum, id. 2, 22 : consul convocato senatu refert, quid de his fieri placeat, qui, etc., Sall. C. 50, 3 : ut ex litteris ad senatum referretur, impetrari (a consulibus) non potuit. Referunt consules de re publicā, Caes. B. C. 1, 1; cf.: refer, inquis, ad senatum. Non referam, Cic. Cat. 1, 8, 20


This reinforces my earlier conclusion: Sopater is first filing his suit with the Senate, and he later actually testifies before it. I wonder if this is similar to the difference between an arraignment and a trial today...
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 988
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Re: De Verre

Postby Kasper » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:02 am

Many thanks indeed, T.

If i may take your conclusion further, would it be correct to say that in 'refert' the matter is pleaded before the senate (rem fert) in order to obtain a legal ruling of sorts, whereas in 'defert' an account of events is given to the senate, much like today a report may be tabled, where no 'ruling' is to be expected? This would explain why in the second instance 'senatus responsum nullum dat'.

In any event, many thanks again for your learned assistance.
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: De Verre

Postby thesaurus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:56 am

Kasper wrote:Many thanks indeed, T.

If i may take your conclusion further, would it be correct to say that in 'refert' the matter is pleaded before the senate (rem fert) in order to obtain a legal ruling of sorts, whereas in 'defert' an account of events is given to the senate, much like today a report may be tabled, where no 'ruling' is to be expected? This would explain why in the second instance 'senatus responsum nullum dat'.

In any event, many thanks again for your learned assistance.


Thank Mr. Lewis and Mr. Short. I've appeared a lot smarter ever since I started pursuing leads in the dictionary and not just guessing on a "hunch," as is my wont.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 988
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm


Return to Learning Latin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Jandar and 26 guests